This book tells the story of the series of secret agents who, since Napoleon I and the Great Game, precipitated the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and then obtained control of the world’s oil supplies – for the West in general, and for the Anglo-Saxon world in particular – at the price of two world wars and countless regional conflicts. Though this saga is akin to an adventure story, the immense misfortunes which have fallen upon the oil-possessing nations for over a century are far from the stuff of dreams.
Current events confirm that the black gold spies have a great future ahead of them. But they also remind us that the spy business is well on the way to being privatised, meaning that, to paraphrase Montesquieu, the days when espionage might have been tolerated when exercised by honest people are gone for good. Given that the Western powers are not about to drop their double standards when it comes to the protection of their oil interests, the future does not look too bright.