Summary of Over a Barrel

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Over a Barrel book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

5 Innovation

6 Style


This ambitious, scholarly book, complete with statistics and charts on all things oil, undertakes the difficult task of measuring the price of U.S. dependence on this energy source. A comprehensive political and military history, it explains the geopolitics behind U.S. energy policy and analyzes its intended and unintended consequences, especially during today’s period of scarce energy. Duffield proposes solutions to the strategic problems U.S. policy creates, even though some of his suggestions are not quantifiable or easily achieved. getAbstract recommends this book to energy and utility company executives, government officials and other serious readers who want to understand the numbers and history behind this international dilemma.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What the real cost is of U.S. dependence on foreign oil;
  • How the U.S. became addicted to foreign oil; and
  • What the consequences of U.S. oil policy are.

About the Author

John S. Duffield is professor of Political Science at Georgia State University. He is the author of Power Rules: The Evaluation of NATO’s Conventional Force Posture (1995) and World Power Forsaken: Political Culture, International Institutions, and German Security Policy After Unification.



A Serious Problem
During the 1940s, the U.S. was a net exporter of oil. But today, the country imports about half of the 12 million barrels of oil it consumes daily. The situation will only get worse, as oil demand increases and along with it, reliance on imports. By 2015, U.S. demand ...

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