Oil is not pretty, but it is a resource that drives the modern world. It has made fortunes for the lucky few and provided jobs for millions of ordinary folks. Thick and slippery, crude oil has an evil smell. Yet without it, life as we live it today would be impossible. Oil fuels our engines, heats our homes, and powers the machines that make the everyday things we take for granted, from shopping bags to computers to medical equipment. Nations throughout the last century have gone to war over it. Indeed, oil influences every aspect of modern life. It helps shape the history, society, politics, and economy of every nation on earth. This riveting new book explores what oil is and the role this precious resource has played in America and the world.