Saudi Arabia/Iran: The Oil Kings

“The Oil Kings,” written by Andrew Scott Cooper and published by Simon and Schuster is a requisite read. This book documents and explains the role and history of oil from the past, to the present and with predictions of the future.  “The Oil Kings” provides the reader with an understanding of the relationships and impact of oil between the United States and Iran and the United States and Saudi Arabia.

  In the words of the author, “The Oil Kings”is a multilayered narrative written through the prism of U.S. oil policy.  The book can be interpreted in different ways:  as a parable on the corrupting influence of oil on America’s national security policy; as a lesson in the limits of American power in the wake of the retreat from Vietnam, the Watergate scandal and the energy crisis of the 1970s; as a contest of personalities such as Nixon, the Shah, Shaikh Ahmed Zaki al-Yamani of Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Secretary of Treasury William F. Simon, and defense secretaries James Schlesinger and Donald Rumsfeld, as an autopsy on empire, in this case Iran’s Pahlavi dynasty, and how the fortunes of the Persian crown rose and fell with the oil marker; as the triumph of nationalism in settling scores between old rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia; and as a cautionary tale of what happened between friends of long standing and to old alliances when the geopolitics of the Cold War collided with the reality of the oil market and the global economy, whose rough outline was only just beginning to take shape in the mid-1970s.  It is a narrative that internationalizes U.S.-Iran relations and Iran’s revolution by placing bilateral and internal events in a strategic and geopolitical context outside the boundaries of the Persian Gulf. I found it impossible to address tensions between the United States and Iran over oil prices without also taking into consideration events in faraway Great Britain, France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, and Canada.  How these events affected bilateral relations between Washington and Tehran will no doubt be debated for a long time to come by scholars in the field.” 

Given recent tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, “The Oil Kings” is a timely read.  This book will be of keen interest to economists, energy analysts, political analysts, Saudi watchers, Iran watchers and scholars who follow the Middle East region.


6 Responses

  1. I recently read one of this emails that circulate the internet with no cause at all beside spreading rumors, it was allegedly explaining the relation between oil and the current war in the Middle East. Even though the email did sound very convincing, I still know better not to trust these forwarded emails no matter what the source was.

    I think that this book might just enlighten me with more information to either back up the proposed theory, or reject it. So, thanks alot! Hopefully I’ll get my hands on this sometime soon.

  2. Sounds like a very interesting read….. I find the underlying themes of wealth, power, and money to be more often the reason for motivation, (personal as well as political), than any other theme.So… assume this is a correct correlation – what does that tell us about basic human nature?
    This has piqued my interest and I am going to read it. As kind of a tangent – does anyone know of a place in Riyadh where I can purchase a Kindle?

  3. I’d say the most promising places for a Kindle may be Jarir Bookstore or maybe Extra? Good luck!

  4. Saudi Arabia and Iran are the more religious country in the world and at the same time the more rich with their petrole.

  5. Carina S. Burns reblogged this on Carina Sue Burns and commented: May I share this on my website?-Carol!!!

  6. […] for American Bedu to have the opportunity to interview Andrew Scott Cooper, author of the book “The Oil Kings.”  This interview will allow American Bedu readers to learn about Andrew Scott Cooper the man and how […]

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