Brian Black, distinguished professor of history and environmental studies, has an essay in the recently published book Landscapes of the First World War.
The essay, "Making Oil Essential: Emerging Patterns of Petroleum Culture in the Era of the Great War," documents the emergence in the late 1910s of the centrality of petroleum to national power on the global stage. Most important, petroleum became directly tied to national security by its use in naval ships by 1915. In addition, patterns and strategies on the World War I battlefield tied success to reliable supplies of energy, particularly oil. Black’s essay documents this important energy transition in global history.
Originally presented at a conference in Trento, Italy, to mark the centennial of World War I, Black’s essay is drawn from his larger work on the global history of petroleum and energy.