“I Couldn’t Put It Down”

A pair of really nice reviews yesterday. Robert Rapier, a great energy blogger at theoildrum.com, calls Crude World “a fascinating read.” He writes, “I still have a stack of books that have been sent to me to review, but I jumped this one to the front of the queue. I hadn’t really intended to, as I am working on two other books right now, and would normally finish those before starting another. But once I picked this book up and started thumbing through it, I couldn’t put it down.”

Robert Kaplan, in the Wall Street Journal, is extremely kind, too. He calls Crude World an “engaging work of reporting and travel writing” and adds, “As Mr. Maass demonstrates, oil is almost as essential to our lives as the air we breathe, yet its effect on the countries that produce it, and on the alpha males who run the oil industry, is quite sinister … Whether Mr. Maass is in the primeval, environmentally ruined Niger Delta region of southern Nigeria, or in a Venezuelan slum where ‘even the jobless are mugged,’ or in a menacing and soulless Moscow high-rise, or among wayward, spoiled-brat Saudi youth, he shows how the trail of oil leads a traveler to either grim poverty or repulsive wealth.”

If you’d like to go straight to the source, TheBigMoney.com, which is Slate.com’s financial spinoff, is running an excerpt about the struggles and souls of oilmen. It’s one of my favorite bits from Crude World.

Author: Peter Maass

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1983, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, I went to Brussels as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. I left the Journal in 1985 to write for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, covering NATO and the European Union. In 1987 I moved to Seoul, South Korea, where I wrote primarily for The Washington Post. After three years in Asia I moved to Budapest to cover Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I spent most of 1992 and 1993 covering the war in Bosnia for the Post.