The Oil Kings
How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East
Drawing on newly declassified documents and interviews with some of the key figures of the time, Cooper follows the political posturing and backroom maneuvering that led the U.S. to switch to OPEC as its main supplier of oil from the Shah of Iran, a loyal ally and leading customer for American weapons. The subsequent loss of U.S. income destabilized the Iranian economy, while the U.S. embarked on a long relationship with the autocratic Saudi kingdom that continues to this day.
Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing revelations—including how close the U.S. came to sending troops into the Persian Gulf to break the Arab oil embargo and how U.S. officials offered to sell nuclear power and nuclear fuel to the Shah—The Oil Kings is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.
The Quest for Oil
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“Why should I plant a tree whose bitter root
Will only serve to nourish poisoned fruit?”
—Abolqasem Ferdowsi, The Persian Book of Kings
On November 25, 2006, U.S. vice president Dick Cheney flew to Riyadh for talks with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, the elderly autocrat whose desert kingdom is home to one fifth... see more