"This terrific documentary based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book presents an incredibly incisive and insightful story based one on bold premise:
All wars and world economy since WWI has been driven by the need to control access to oil".
Comment by J. Pudwill
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power is Daniel Yergin's 800-page history of the global oil industry from the 1850s through 1990. The Prize benefited from extraordinary timing: published in October 1990, two months after the invasion of Kuwait ordered by Saddam Hussein and three months before the U.S.-led coalition unleashed the Gulf War to oust Iraqi troops from that country, the book's theme of the historical centrality of what its subtitle calls "the epic quest for oil, money, and power" was in tune with the zeitgeist; the book became a number-one bestseller in the United States and won a Pulitzer Prize. The Prize has been called the "definitive" history of the oil industry, even a "bible"; some critics, though, consider the book too sympathetic to the perspective of the oil industry, of which the author is, in a way, a part. The Prize was the basis for a six hour documentary television series titled "The Prize - The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, & Power", narrated by Donald Sutherland. The series is frequently used as a source material in Middle Eastern studies classes and is said to have been seen by 20 million people in the United States.
In 1992 The Prize won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and has been translated into fourteen languages. Now out of print in hardcover, The Prize was published in a paperback edition (ISBN 0-671-79932-0) that was released at the end of 1992, and is currently in print. The Prize is often cited as essential background reading for students of the history of petroleum. Prof. Joseph R. Rudolph Jr. said in Library Journal, for example, that The Prize, "written by one of the foremost U.S. authorities on energy, . . . is a major work in the field, replete with enough insight to satisfy the scholar and sufficient concern with the drama and colorful personalities in the history of oil to capture the interest of the general public.Though lengthy, the book never drags in developing its themes: the relationship of oil to the rise of modern capitalism; the intertwining relations between oil, politics, and international power; and the relationship between oil and society in what Yergin calls today's age of 'Hydrocarbon Man'."