Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted the World to Oil and Derailed the Alternatives

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Macmillan, Dec 10, 2007 - Business & Economics - 410 pages
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 Web site, 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.

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User Review  - carterchristian1 - LibraryThing

A truly eyeopening book. Who would have thought ? Well written. A great contribution to not only American automative history but general American history. A "what if" tale. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 3wheeledlibrarian - LibraryThing

The early history of automobiles was interesting, but then he jumps around a bit, first visiting the destruction of the electrical rail lines in the midwest, and then chronicling the torpedoing of the ... Read full review


The Plan Against Oil
Power Struggle 1 0
Metals and Monopolies
Stench and Scandal
Batteries and Bicycles
The Selden Strategy
The GM Conspiracy
Manhattan Now
Hydrogen Solution
The Green Fleet


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Page 391 - Increased Automobile Fuel Efficiency and Synthetic Fuels: Alternatives for Reducing Oil Imports.

About the author (2007)

Edwin Black is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling journalist and author of five previous books, including IBM and the Holocaust and War Against the Weak. He has been nominated nine times for the Pulitzer Prize, and three times for the National Book Award. Internal Combustion won the Harmony Green Globes Award for Best Environmental Book, the Thomas Edison award, and best nonfiction book award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. His books have been published in fifty-six editions, in fourteen languages, in sixty-one countries, and he has appeared on scores of major news and current events TV and radio shows, worldwide including Oprah!, the Today Show, NBC’s Dateline, and CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Reports, as well as numerous documentaries.

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