Crude Oil, Crude Money: Aristotle Onassis, Saudi Arabia, and the CIA by Thomas W. Lippman
In 1954 former President Eisenhower effectively squashed a contract with Saudi Arabia that would have given one man exclusive control of the flow of its oil.
Tells the untold story of how Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, and Texaco teamed up with the CIA and Department of State to thwart the plans of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who almost managed to reshape the Middle East.
In 1954 Aristotle Onassis (long before he married Jacqueline Kennedy) made a bold business gamble: he tried to corner the crude oil shipping market by signing a deal with the King of Saudi Arabia. If it had worked, it would have reshaped the history of the Middle East. As it was, the proposed deal terrified British and U.S. oil companies and the Dulles brothers, who saw it as the first move in the nationalization of Saudi oil. Complicating things were the burgeoning Arab nationalist movement led by Egypt's newly elected president, Gamal Nasser. And of course there were the Soviets, now without Stalin, eager to build influence in the region.
This little known story about the collision of nationalism, money, celebrity, and oil sheds new light on the tangled history of the Middle East. Drawing on the author's immense knowledge of the Middle East, and original research incorporating unexplored declassified documents, the book is an eye-opener for students of U.S. foreign policy, anyone interested in the global oil business, and scholars and historians of the role of the U.S. in the Arab world.
- Dramatically illustrates the convergence of interests of the U.S. government and big business
- Shows how McCarthy-era phobia about communism affected U.S. foreign policy decisions—even when no communists were involved
- Examines history with enduring ramifications through narrative to engage students and general readers
- Unveils a world of international intrigue unknown to most citizens