A persuasive argument and most timely case for coming up with another approach—now.

BLOOD AND OIL

THE DANGERS AND CONSEQUENCES OF AMERICA’S GROWING PETROLEUM DEPENDENCY

Forget clashes of civilizations and ideologies—the real war is about natural resources.

“In Angola and Sierra Leone,” national-security scholar Klare (Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws, 1995) writes, “it was control of the diamond fields that sustained the bloodshed for so long; in the Congo, gold and copper; in Borneo and Cambodia, timber.” And now, in many parts of the world, the battle is over oil, a conflict that is reshaping American policy across the spectrum, such that “the U.S. military is being converted into a global oil-protection service” and much diplomatic effort is now invested in “securitizing” oil and wooing its producers into our camp. The outlines of that battle are only now taking shape; yet, Klare argues, what is certain is that the US is becoming ever more dependent on foreign sources of oil, “and thus increasingly vulnerable to the violence and disorder that accompanies oil production in politically unstable and often hostile producers.” Slightly more than half of the domestic oil demand in 2000, for instance, was met with foreign product; by 2025, that figure is expected to rise to 67.9 percent, or nearly 20 million barrels per day. Satisfying these needs will introduce conflict into regions whose rulers may tolerate us but whose people do not; this is true of the Persian Gulf, Klare notes, and may also be true of the so-called Alternative Eight, nations such as Mexico, Colombia, and Nigeria whose political futures are anything but certain, even if they “were to squeeze out such prodigious oil surpluses in the years ahead that they lived up to the sunny predictions of American policy makers.” More likely they will not, Klare suggests, which makes it ever more imperative that the US develop alternative sources of energy and “a comprehensive blueprint for the postpetroleum era” but quick. Instead we have Cheney and company’s “dangerous and deluded plan for more of the same”: more conflict, more dependency, more blood for oil.

A persuasive argument and most timely case for coming up with another approach—now.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2004

ISBN: 0-8050-7313-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Metropolitan/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2004

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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