In This Review

OPEC: Twenty-Five Years Of Prices And Politics
OPEC: Twenty-Five Years Of Prices And Politics
By Ian Skeet
Cambridge University Press, 1988, 263 pp

This first-rate book provides a persuasive interpretation of the history of OPEC by stressing the different stages through which it has passed and the ways in which changes, not only in supply and demand but in national concerns with revenue and foreign policy and in the international political setting, affected the process. Skeet, who worked for Shell for 30 years, says that October 1973 was the dividing line between the period when OPEC was negotiating for independent power and the period in which it was able to exercise that power. At the peak, OPEC had "achieved most of what had been in the minds of its founders," except becoming a true cartel. Then, in 1985, it "reverted to a state of suspended animation" that is only "a break in the story," not the end.