I first ran across this book referenced in a footnote about three years ago and tried to track it down. First I tried to purchase it, but found that it was out of print and used copies were going for $100.00+ on the internet. I found this curious since it was relatively recent (1993) and, given its topic, was certainly of tremendous interest to US readers, even before the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Gulf War II. I was fortunate to find it in my university library and have since read it several times.
I am tempted to go 'on and on' about this book, especially since it is not easily available for people to read. Nor does anyone seem to feel that they can (or are able to?) republish what should be a 'best seller' in the current geopolitical climate and circumstances. Engdahl, whose personal background includes engineering and law (Princeton), working in Texas oil industry, and international economics (University of Stockholm), does a penetrating and eloquent job of sorting out the complex web that connects the controlling interests of international politics with the goals and objectives of global oil and financial interests, these having merged in the last century into the powerful and dominant hegemony of an Anglo-American consortium.
There are so many revelations that are so well documented that one has to slow down and completely reorientate his or her conception of and attitude toward recent history. His tone is neither particularly vindictive nor is it conspiratorial. It looks at people and events and provides plausible motives and methods that are not part of the conventional awareness. For example, (fact) the British navy decided in the late 19th century to change their primary fuel source from coal to oil, thereby (objective) needing to secure access to oil reserves, basically in perpetuity. (result) British agreements for oil resources with the Sheikh of Kuwait date from 1899. (fact) Oil then comes to supplant coal as the primary energy source for all of the industrializing world, and a decade later Germany threatens to become the leading industrialized nation in Europe and (objective) needs a secure source of oil, so they begin construction on the Berlin to Baghdad railway intending to capitalize on agreements to import Iraqi oil. (question) How does Britain meet this emerging geopolitical threat. (objective) Block Germany's access to Middle East oil. (result) Curiously WWI begins with an out-of-the-way assassination in Croatia that just happens to occur near the route of that railway. War ensues and not only is the B-to-B railway cut off, but Germany loses all colonial power in the Middle East.
Shortly after WWI the leaders of the seven major western oil companies meet and agree to not compete with each other but to cooperate, and in 1928 drew up the Red Line agreement that gave virtually control of virtually all Middle East oil to the Anglo-American cartel. Even France's portion was minimalized to Turkish reserves. The Anglo-American consortium came to be known as the Seven Sisters and over the course of the ensuing decades become more and more infused with global banking and financial interestes, i.e., Rockefeller, J.P.Morgan, the Warburgs, the Rotheschilds, Brown Harriman, etc., coming to dominate the world economy by controlling the primary energy source. It is "all about oil" and has been since the turn of the century.
Engdahl's references are extensive and substantiate his disturbing interpretation of history, like the intentional suppression of the German Mark after WWI and the intentional manipulation of the OPEC oil embargo of the 1970s as a premise to artificially inflate global energy costs (a Bilderberg target objective), thereby making BritPetr North Sea oil exploration efforts solvent and bankrupting the debt burdened Third World.
Engdahl's revelatory insights go up through Gulf War I and one can only speculate as to his thoughts on the current Bush administration's economic/tax policies, the Iraq intervention, and their relationship to consolidating control of the global economy into the hands of a few staggeringly wealthy individuals and corporations. This book should be IN PRINT and TODAY!