In This Review

Oil of Russia: Past, Present, and Future
Oil of Russia: Past, Present, and Future
By Vagit Alekperov
East View Press, 2011, 525 pp.

One does not expect the CEO of a major oil company to write a detailed history of the industry going back to antiquity. But that is what Alekperov, the president of Lukoil, the second largest of Russia’s ten key oil companies, has done. A full third of this lengthy book is devoted to the history of the industry from before Peter the Great’s reign through the nineteenth century, at a level of detail found in no other English-language publication. The discussion of the early years of Bolshevik rule through Lenin’s five-year plans is particularly rich and balanced, but Alekperov pays relatively little attention to the period stretching from the end of World War II to the fall of the Soviet Union. Unsurprisingly, he has general praise for present-day Russian energy policy and prospects. Still, this does not detract from the wealth of detail he provides, detail that will interest even the most informed student of the subject.