13 August 2008

The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power

This is an eight part series of videos produced by PBS/BBC based on Daniel Yergin's Pulitzer Prize winning nonfiction work, The Prize. Here are the eight episodes, as they have been published to Google Videos. I published a link to olyblog.net, where these videos have already been posted. But OlyBlog isn't working today, so I want to republish them here. Redundancy on the Internet... Here it is with descriptions as I found them attached to the videos posted on Google:
"In the style of the acclaimed CIVIL WAR series, THE PRIZE tells the epic history of oil - how it has dominated global politics, shaken the world economy, and transformed our century. Shot on location in Azerbaijan, Egypt, England, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Russia, Scotland, Turkey, and the United States, the series features fascinating characters, never-before-seen archival footage, newly filmed segments, and interviews with the people who shaped the oil industry. Yergin appears on camera throughout the series to discuss oil's impact on politics, economics, and the environment. We see how oil becomes the largest industry in the world--a game of huge risks and monumental rewards. Narrated by Donald Sutherland, THE PRIZE represents cinematic storytelling at its best - a historically significant tale of a quest for mastery that has revolutionized our civilization."
Part One

'Our Plan'
"Trace the turbulent, rapid rise of the world's biggest business, how a visionary but ruthless John D. Rockefeller controlled it--and how reporter Ida Tarbell took him on in one of the most famous muckraking exposes ever. A fascinating look at Rockefeller's controversial legacy, the rise of modern business, and how Tarbell served as the role model for the modern investigative journalist."
Part Two

Empires of Oil
"Witness capitalism on a grand scale: how Shell Oil and Royal Dutch merged, then challenged the supremacy of Rockefeller's Standard Oil. A compelling tale of how oil transformed everyday life in the farthest corners of the globe, made Russia a great oil power, and helped the Allies win World War I."
Part Three

The Black Giant
"It's the Roaring Twenties, and the magic of oil touches everyone, from millions of new car owners to hopeful Texan wildcatters. The American oil industry wrestles with shortage and surplus, as flamboyant entrepreneur Calouste Gulbenkian stakes his claim in Iraq."
Part Four

War and Oil
"The untold story of World War II unfolds: how oil dictated strategy to Hitler; how lack of oil slowed Japan's war machine; how oil ultimately determined victory or defeat. Features rare footage on the critical impact of oil on decisive military events."
Part five

Crude Diplomacy
"Post World War II America awakens to the strategic importance of oil and witnesses a key moment in history when oil production shifts from the US to the Middle East. An extraordinary cast of characters, including Arabian kings, US presidents, British adventurers, Iranian politicians, and American explorers paint a global portrait of how oil shaped the world economy and politics."
Part Six

Power to the Producers
"It's the heyday of cheap oil, the dawn of the Hydrocarbon Society...and the introduction of a prosperous new automobile culture for Americans. Follow the flamboyant characters, plots, and counterplots, as the producing countries and the independent oil companies challenge the "Seven Sisters"--and open a new era in world oil."
Part Seven

The Tinderbox
"Relive two decades of upheaval that shook the world as power shifted, and nations and companies jockeyed for position--amidst embargoes, shortages, and surpluses. A unique view of the rise of the OPEC era, beginning with the British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf and ending with the burning oil wells of Kuwait."
Part Eight

The New Order of Oil
"The Gulf War marked the beginning of a new era for the Hydrocarbon Society. This program explores the relationship between oil and the environmental conscience, and the technological race to balance energy, economic, and ecological needs in the Information Age."
Editorial Comment: I don't like some of the conclusions that are made in these videos, but I do think they are very valuable and effective in terms of presenting the massive impact that oil has had on society and the planet.

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