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Poor George

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 7 March 1991

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power 
by Daniel Yergin.
Simon and Schuster, 877 pp., £20, January 1991, 0 671 50248 4
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... solution was to let the market decide. It was the market, though, that was the problem. Daniel Yergin calls the price fall in 1986 the Third Oil Shock. The first had been in 1973, when the Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries had raised the ‘posted price’ of oil, on which their revenues were calculated, to match the rocketing ...

How frightened should we be?

John Lloyd, 10 February 1994

Russia 2010 
by Daniel Yergin and Thane Gustafson.
Random House, 302 pp., $32, October 1993, 0 679 42995 6
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What About the workers: Workers and the Transition to Capitalism in Russia 
by Simon Clarke.
Verso, 248 pp., £34.95, September 1993, 0 86091 650 2
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After the Soviet Union: From Empire to Nation 
edited by Timothy Colton and Robert Levgold.
Norton, 208 pp., $24.95, November 1992, 0 393 03420 8
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... At present it seems more of a joke than a piece of serious ‘scenario planning’ on the part of Daniel Yergin and Thane Gustafson, from whose book it comes. Though it may not, at first sight, appear any less plausible than a capitalist China ruled by the Chinese Communist Party would have seemed in the Sixties or Seventies, or a Japan producing ...

Hayek and His Overcoat

Geoffrey Hawthorn, 1 October 1998

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations 
by David Landes.
Little, Brown, 650 pp., £20, April 1998, 0 316 90867 3
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The Commanding Heights 
by Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw.
Simon and Schuster, 457 pp., £18.99, February 1998, 0 684 82975 4
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... with socialist characteristics. For thirty years, new theories ruled. That, according to Daniel Yergin and Joseph Stanislaw, was the trouble. Yergin, like Landes, is a gifted narrator. The Prize, his 1991 history of what he called ‘the epic quest for oil, money and power’ in the 20th century, was an ...

Short Cuts

James Meek: Anglospheroids, 21 March 2013

... and his personal sledgehammer. If the force of his personality failed to get them to back off, Daniel Yergin writes in The Prize, ‘he would deliver a powerful kick or pull out his revolver and shout: “I don’t speak your blasted language!”’ The Norton-Griffiths vignette contains the essence of a notion that has shimmered in the political ...

How Green Is Russia?

Tony Wood: Russia’s Energy Crisis, 6 October 2022

Klimat: Russia in the Age of Climate Change 
by Thane Gustafson.
Harvard, 312 pp., £31.95, October 2021, 978 0 674 24743 7
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... and the role of natural gas in East-West relations (The Bridge, 2020). In 1995 he co-wrote, with Daniel Yergin, Russia 2010 and What It Means for the World, which laid out various scenarios for what then seemed a distant future. (They included full-blown territorial break-up, a resoundingly successful free-market transition, and the advent of an ...

Burning Up the World

Luke Mitchell: ExxonMobil, 8 November 2012

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power 
by Steve Coll.
Allen Lane, 704 pp., £25, July 2012, 978 1 84614 659 6
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... philanthropies, terrorist cells and media networks – all gained relative power.’ The title of Daniel Yergin’s history of the oil industry, The Prize (1991), came from a similar argument made by Winston Churchill in 1911, when he was First Lord of the Admiralty. The best way to prepare for war with Germany, Churchill believed, would be to upgrade ...

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