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How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives
by Edwin Black

An explosive, eye-opening exposé of the corporate forces that have for more than a century sabotaged the creation of alternative energies and vehicles in order to keep us dependent on oil. There is enough truth in this book to revolutionize our way of life. Internal Combustion has won four awards for editorial excellence: American Society of Journalists and Authors Best Book, Thomas Edison Award, Green Globes, and AJPA’s Rockower Award.

Internal Combustion is the compelling tale of corruption and manipulation that subjected the United States and the world to an oil addiction that could have been avoided, that was never necessary, and that could be ended not in ten years, not in five years, but today.

Edwin Black, award-winning author of IBM and the Holocaust, has mined scores of corporate and governmental archives to assemble thousands of previously uncovered and long-forgotten documents and studies into this dramatic story. Black traces a continuum of rapacious energy cartels and special interests dating back nearly 5,000 years, from wood to coal to oil, and then to the bicycle and electric battery cartels of the 1890s, which created thousands of electric vehicles that plied American streets a century ago. But those noiseless and clean cars were scuttled by petroleum interests, despite the little-known efforts of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford to mass-produce electric cars powered by personal backyard energy stations. Black also documents how General Motors criminally conspired to undermine mass transit in dozens of cities and how Big Oil, Big Corn, and Big Coal have subverted synthetic fuels and other alternatives.

He then brings the story full circle to the present-day oil crises, global warming, and beyond. Black showcases overlooked compressed-gas, electric, and hydrogen cars on the market today, as well as inexpensive all-function home energy units that could eliminate much oil usage. His eye-opening calls for a Manhattan Project and a new Green Fleet Initiative for immediate energy independence will help energize society to finally take action.

Internal Combustion, and its interactive website, have already generated a much-needed national debate. It should be read by every citizen who consumes oil—everyone. Internal Combustion can change everything, not by reinventing the wheel, but by excavating it from where it was buried a century ago.

Explosive. Edwin Black has produced an explosive, eye-opening exposé of the corporate forces that have for more than a century sabotaged the creation of alternative energies and vehicles in order to keep us dependent on oil. There is enough truth in this book to revolutionize our way of life.
– Max Wallace, author, American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich

Revolutionary! Edwin Black takes off the gloves and reveals the people whose invisible hands have been shaping and controlling energy markets. Internal Combustion describes forces that have brought us to the brink of disaster, and raises a call for a green revolution to restore sanity and regain control over our destiny.
Karl Gawell, executive director, Geothermal Energy Association

Dogged Journalism. Internal Combustion is proof that investigative works can be both illuminating and entertaining; comprehensive and thought-provoking. Through extensive research and dogged journalism, Black has given his readers a portrait of the world's modern energy crisis. From the corporate conspiracies to the political intricacies, Black connects the dots, outlines the history, and underlines the combustive relationship between civilizations and the energy sources they so dearly rely on.
Wendell Rawls, director, Center for Public Integrity
A Page Turner. As usual, Edwin Black puts all his readers in his debt by his lucid, dramatic and thought-provoking discoveries. Internal Combustion is a story that should be read by everyone concerned about the strange realities of our modern world. An indispensable contribution to the story of oil and travel: the twin pillars of our modern dilemma. A true page turner.
Martin Gilbert, author, A History of the Twentieth Century, Churchill: A Life and First World War
Riveting. Edwin Black's Internal Combustion provides a riveting, well researched, technically on-target, no-holds barred revelation of the factors that have brought us to today's crisis point--the world's reliance on oil. His compelling narrative detailing the evolution of what has become today's global dilemma is a must-read for the technically savvy as well as for the layman.
Melvin I. Olken, Editor-in-Chief, IEEE Power & Energy Magazine
Vivid & Fascinating. With over 95 percent of our transportation energy being based on petroleum, oil underlies every aspect of our lives and our growing dependence on it is a clear and present danger to our national security. Edwin Black's Internal Combustion presents a vivid and fascinating narrative on how we got to where we are today. It is a must read for anyone who wants to delve into the roots of our national addiction.
Gal Luft, executive director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security; co-chair, Set America Free Coalition
Prodigious Research, Ugly Truth. Conventional wisdom says that Americans addicted themselves to oil and that the free market gives people the energy sources and technologies they most desire. Edwin Black proves that the truth is uglier. Based on prodigious research deep into the historical record, Black demonstrates that power-hungry despots, avaricious monopolists, and bottom-line obsessed corporate oligarchs have long done their best to control where we get our energy and how we use it. To better understand how we got where we are today and how we can make better energy choices in the future, read this page-turner.
David Farber, author, Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors

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440 pages

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