The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

    Annie Jacobsen: IMG Mirrors on the Moon: A Reporter's Story about Sources and Secrets in the Modern World

    As a national security reporter, I write about war, weapons, security, and secrets. The question most commonly asked of me is, "How do you get... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
9 Remote Warehouse World History- 1650 to Present

Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank


Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Oil on the Brain is a smart, surprisingly funny account of the oil industry: the people, economies, and pipelines that bring us petroleum, brilliantly illuminating a world we encounter every day.

Americans buy ten thousand gallons of gasoline a second, without giving it much of a thought. Where does all this gas come from? Lisa Margonelli’s desire to learn took her on a one-hundred thousand mile journey from her local gas station to oil fields half a world away. In search of the truth behind the myths, she wriggled her way into some of the most off-limits places on earth: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the New York Mercantile Exchange’s crude oil market, oil fields from Venezuela, to Texas, to Chad, and even an Iranian oil platform where the United States fought a forgotten one-day battle.

In a story by turns surreal and alarming, Margonelli meets lonely workers on a Texas drilling rig, an oil analyst who almost gave birth on the NYMEX trading floor, Chadian villagers who are said to wander the oil fields in the guise of lions, a Nigerian warlord who changed the world price of oil with a single cell phone call, and Shanghai bureaucrats who dream of creating a new Detroit.

Deftly piecing together the mammoth economy of oil, Margonelli finds a series of stark warning signs for American drivers.

Book News Annotation:

This is a paperbound edition of a 2007 book. Journalist Margonelli unpacks the global political economy of petroleum by interviewing a diverse range of people around the world involved in and impacted by oil, including gas station owners, commodity traders, managers of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and refinery and drilling rig workers. In addition to describing the path of gasoline from under the ground to the tank of an automobile, she offers chapters that explore the oil politics of Venezuela, Chad, Iran, Nigeria, and China. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

About the Author

LISA MARGONELLI is currently an Irvine Fellow at the New America Foundation. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Wired, Business 2.0, Discover, and Jane, and was the recipient of a Sundance Institute Fellowship and an excellence in journalism award from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists. She is based in Oakland, California.

Product Details

Margonelli, Lisa
Broadway Books
Lisa Margonelli
Lisa Margonelli
Industries - Energy Industries
Economic Conditions
General Current Events
Business - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
February 2008
Grade Level:
8 x 5.15 x 0.7 in 0.55 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Would-be Commoner (08 Edition) Used Hardcover $13.00
  2. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High...
    Used Hardcover $6.50
  3. In the Country of Brooklyn:... New Hardcover $29.75
  4. Decameron : Selected Tales (00 Edition) Used Trade Paper $4.00
  5. The Forever War
    Used Hardcover $9.50
  6. The Dark Side: The Inside Story of... Sale Hardcover $4.98

Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Politics » International Studies
History and Social Science » Politics » Politics of Oil
History and Social Science » World History » 1650 to Present
Science and Mathematics » Geology » Petroleum Geology

Oil on the Brain: Petroleum's Long, Strange Trip to Your Tank New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767916974 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at