Written by the author of "Shattered Peace" and "Energy Future", this book brings to life the tycoons, wildcatters, monopolists, regulators, presidents, generals and sheiks whose struggle for oil has shaken the world economy, dictated the outcome of wars, transformed the destiny of Britain and the world and profoundly changed all our lives. Beginning with the first oil well of the 1850s and continuing up to Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, it is a story of greed, gumption nad ingenuity, all in pursuit of "the prize" - worldwide economic, military and political mastery through the control of oil. The book includes the story of Shell Oil, a company forged in defiance of the Standard Oil monopoly by an upstart London trader, using Rothchild connections, Russian oil and Dutch petrolium concession in the East Indies. The central strategic role of oil in both world wars - from the decisive 4-knot-per-hour advantage of oil-burning ships in World War I to Rommel's stalled tank advance at El Alamein in War II (he literally ran out of petrol) The underground battle to wind the greatest prize of all - the Saudi oil concession. The inside story of the discovery of North Sea Oil and its crucial role in undermining the OPEC monopoly.