Poisoned Wells

Poisoned Wells : The Dirty Politics of African Oil

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Each week the oil and gas fields of sub-Saharan Africa produce well over a billion dollars' worth of oil, an amount that far exceeds development aid to the entire African continent. Yet the rising tide of oil money is not promoting stability and development, but is instead causing violence, poverty, and stagnation. It is also generating vast corruption that reaches deep into American and European economies. In Poisoned Wells, Nicholas Shaxson exposes the root causes of this paradox of poverty from plenty, and explores the mechanisms by which oil causes grave instabilities and corruption around the globe. Shaxson is the only journalist who has had access to the key players in African oil, and is willing to make the connections between the problems of the developing world and the involvement of leading global corporations and governments.

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  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • Palgrave MacMillan
  • BasingstokeUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 023060532X
  • 9780230605329
  • 197,291

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This book will be unsettling for those with preconceived ideas about the oil industry, international business or African politics. Shaxson shows that there are no easy answers to questions on the role of multinational oil giants in Africa, or how to tackle the corruption that is often the result of their oil deals. He shows there are many, many complicated shades of grey--but he does so, thankfully, using such a colorful style and language that the book comes to life and is a pleasure to read.--Hugh Williamson, Berlin correspondent, Financial Times

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About Nicholas Shaxson

NICHOLAS SHAXSON writes regularly for such publications as the Financial Times, The Economist, African Energy and the insider newsletter Africa Confidential. He is an associate fellow with the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London, UK, and a world authority on the politics and economics of the oil-producing nations of the Gulf of Guinea. He has been covering the African oil trade for nearly fifteen years. He lives in Amsterdam.

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