INAF 615: AMERICAN POWER AND OIL
David S. Painter
ICC 605 (202) 687-7158 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTENT: Oil has been central to U.S. power and wealth since the early
20th century, and the history of oil provides important insights into
the nature and dynamics of the American Century. Possession of ample
domestic oil supplies and control over access to foreign oil reserves
have been key elements in the power position of the United States relative
to its rivals. Oil has also played a central role in U.S. economic
life, and the history of oil illuminates the position of the large
corporation in the U.S. economy, the dynamics of business-government
relations, and the impact of economic arrangements on social structure and the
REQUIREMENTS: Course requirements include regular attendance,
discussion questions, and participation in discussion (15 percent); one oral
briefing (10 percent), and five short essays as noted on the syllabus (75
percent). Failure to complete any of these requirements will result in
failure of the entire course.
ORAL REPORT: Each week a student will introduce the required reading
with a five-minute oral briefing.
ESSAYS: Each essay should be approximately 5-7 double-spaced,
typewritten pages. It should summarize the main points of the readings and
offer a brief analysis and critique. (See the handout)
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: For the classes of 20 January, 24 February, and
30 March, students will be required to submit at the beginning of class
five questions relating to the week’s reading. These should include an
opening question on the larger issues raised by the reading; three clarifying questions about specific aspects of the reading; and a closing
question relating the reading to the larger issues covered in the
BANK DAYS: Each student will begin the semester with a "bank account"
of three days that can be applied to essay due dates during the semester
at the discretion of the student. Once the account is used up, late
papers will be penalized. Bank days cannot be used for the discussion questions or the oral briefing.
READINGS: The following books and articles will be ON RESERVE in the
library. Note that use of a book or article does not signify endorsement of its arguments, only its value for teaching purposes.
Halliday, Fred. “The Impact of Soviet Policy in the Middle East.” In
The Superpowers, Central America, and the Middle East, 155-67. Edited
by Peter Shearman and Phil Williams. London: Brassey’s, 1988.
Heinberg, Richard. The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of
Industrial Societies. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2003.
Jensen, W.G. “The Importance of Energy in the First and Second World
Wars.” Historical Journal 11 (1968): 538-54.
Jones, Geoffrey. “The British Government and the Oil Companies,
1912-1924: The Search for an Oil Policy. Historical Journal 20 (1977):
Karl, Terry Lynn. “The Perils of the Petro-State: Reflections on the
Paradox of Plenty.” Journal of International Affairs 53 (Fall 1999):
Klare, Michael T. "Blood for Oil: The Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy." in
The New Imperial Challenge, 166-85. Edited by Leo Panitch and Colin Leys. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2004.
Klare, Michael T. “Arms Transfers to Iran and Iraq during the
Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88 and the Origins of the Gulf War.” In The Gulf War of
1991 Reconsidered. Edited by Andrew J. Bacevich and Efraim Inbar.
London: Frank Cass, 2003.
Koppes, Clayton R. “The Good Neighbor Policy and the Nationalization
of Mexican Oil: A Reinterpretation.” Journal of American History 69 (June 1982): 62-81.
Lesser, Ian O. Oil, The Persian Gulf, and Grand Strategy: Contemporary
Issues in Historical Perspective. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1991.
Lesser, Ian O. Resources and Strategy. London: Macmillan, 1989.
McNeill, J.R. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of
the Twentieth Century World. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.
Preface, chaps. 1 & 10.
Moran, Theodore H. “Managing an Oligopoly of Would-be Sovereigns: The
Dynamics of Joint Control and Self-Control in the International Oil
Industry Past, Present, and Future.” International Organization 41 (Autumn 1987): 575-607.
Morse, Edward L. “A New Political Economy of Oil? Journal of
International Affairs 53 (Fall 1999): 1-29.
Nye, David E. “Path Insistence: Comparing European and American
Attitudes Toward Energy.” Journal of International Affairs 53 (Fall 1999):
Painter, David S. “Oil.” In Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy,
2d ed., Vol. 3: 1-20. Edited by Alexander DeConde, Richard Dean Burns,
and Fredrik Logevall. New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 2002.
Painter, David S. Oil and the American Century: The Political Economy
of U.S. Foreign Oil Policy, 1941-1954. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.
Palmer, Michael A. Guardians of the Gulf: A History of America’s Expanding Role in the Persian Gulf, 1833-1992. New York: The Free Press, 1992.
Smil, Vaclav. Energy at the Crossroads: Global Perspectives and Uncertainties. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003.
Sokolsky, Richard D. The United States and the Persian Gulf: Reshaping Security Strategy for the Post-Containment Era. Washington, DC: National Defense University Press, 2003.
Stivers, William. “International Politics and Iraqi Oil, 1918-1928: A Study in Anglo-American Diplomacy.” Business History Review 55 (Winter 1981): 517-40.
United States. Office of the President. The National Security Strategy of the United States of America. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2002. Available online.
United States National Energy Policy Development Group. National Energy Policy. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 2001. Available online.
Venn, Fiona. The Oil Crisis. London: Pearson Education Limited, 2002.
Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991
13 Jan. ORGANIZATION/INTRODUCTION
Prize, Prologue, Epilogue
Painter, “Oil” ON RESERVE
20 Jan. THE EARLY YEARS
Prize, chaps. 1-8
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS DUE
27 Jan. OIL AND WORLD POWER
Prize, chaps. 9-19
3 Feb. A SECOND LOOK AT OIL AND WORLD POWER
Stivers, “International Politics and Iraqi Oil”
Koppes, “Good Neighbor Policy”
Jones, “British Government and the Oil Companies”
Jensen, “Importance of Energy in the First and Second World Wars”
Lesser, Resources and Strategy, chap. 4
Palmer, Guardians of the Gulf, chap. 1
FIRST ESSAY DUE
10 Feb. SHAPING THE POSTWAR PETROLEUM ORDER
Prize, chaps. 20-23
Palmer, Guardians of the Gulf, chaps. 2-3
17 Feb. SHAPING THE POSTWAR PETROLEUM ORDER; ANOTHER VIEW
Painter, Oil and the American Century
SECOND ESSAY DUE
24 Feb. THE GOLDEN AGE OF OIL
Prize, chaps. 24-27
Lesser, Oil, the Persian Gulf, and Grand Strategy
Lesser; Resources and Strategy, chap. 5
Palmer, Guardians of the Gulf, chap. 4
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS DUE
2 Mar. The OIL DECADE
Prize, chaps. 28-34
Palmer, Guardians of the Gulf, chap. 5
Lesser, Resources and Strategy, chap. 6
16 Mar. THE OIL CRISES REVISITED
Venn, The Oil Crisis
23 Mar. THE THIRD OIL SHOCK AND BEYOND
Prize, chaps. 35-36
Moran, “Managing an Oligopoly of Would-be Sovereigns”
Morse, “New Political Economy of Oil?”
Karl, “Perils of the Petro-State”
Palmer, Guardians of the Gulf, chaps. 6-7
Halliday, “Impact of Soviet Policy in the Middle East”
THIRD ESSAY DUE
30 Mar. GUARDING THE GULF
Palmer, Guardians of the Gulf, chaps. 8-13
Klare, “Arms Transfers to Iran and Iraq”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS DUE
6 Apr. OIL AND THE FATE OF INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY
Heinberg, The Party’s Over
13 Apr. ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Smil, Energy at the Crossroads, chaps. 1-3
McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, Preface, chaps. 1 & 10
20 Apr. ENERGY AT THE CROSSROADS
Smil, Energy at the Crossroads, chaps. 4-6
FOURTH ESSAY DUE
27 Apr. THE UNITED STATES RESPONSE
The National Security Strategy of the United States of America
National Energy Policy, Overview, chaps. 1 & 8
Nye, “Path Insistence”
4 May. OIL AND CONFLICT IN THE 21ST CENTURY
Sokolsky, United States and the Persian Gulf
Klare, “Blood for Oil”
FIFTH ESSAY DUE