free_excerpts (free_excerpts) wrote in currentevents,

Excerpt: Steve LeVine on Caspian Oil Deals

I have permission from Random House to distribute an excerpt from journalist Steve LeVine's mammoth new book, The Oil and The Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea.

The excerpt is called "Azeri Oil" and follows the final negotiations for development of Azerbaijan's massive offshore oil fields. After three years and six changes of government, a deal is finally struck between private and state-owned oil companies as diplomats from Russia and the United States spar in the background. Overnight, $230 million in cash put up by the oil companies disappears into private bank accounts, apparently benefiting Azeri leader Heydar Aliyev and his associates. It's just one of the stunning, billion-dollar deals documented in this book.

"This is the new way wars are fought," says journalist LeVine, who covered the region for a string of global media companies including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Newsweek. Serving 11 years in the Caspian, LeVine was flown home on a stretcher when a Chechen rocket grenade shattered his leg.

The excerpt from The Oil and The Glory is available at the following URL:

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