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The Oil Crisis of 1973-1974: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture)

In a year that saw both the formal end to the Vietnam War and the unfolding of the Watergate scandal, the oil crisis of 1973–1974 dealt a critical blow to the American psyche. After decades of wealth and prosperity, stagflation and gas shortages hit Americans in their own pockets. They faced hard questions about a national culture of consumption that had ravaged the environment and left the U.S. dangerously dependent on foreign oil -- and at the mercy of nations who could and would use oil as a political weapon. Karen Merrill offers a thorough examination of this watershed event with a collection of primary sources ranging from industry and government memos to contemporary news coverage and political cartoons. Her introduction provides historical perspective on U.S.–Middle East relations, as well as insights into oil's role in shepherding in a new era of environmental awareness within the American consumer culture. Useful pedagogical tools include questions for consideration, a chronology of events, and a bibliographic essay.

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