Anointed with Oil: How Christianity and Crude Made Modern America

Darren Dochuk. Basic, $35 (688p) ISBN 978-0-465-06086-3
Dochuk (From Bible Belt to Sun Belt), associate professor of history at University of Notre Dame, traces the dense web of interconnections between Christianity and the oil industry in America from the Civil War to the early 21st century in this excellent history. The author argues that passion for Christian mission and aggressive natural resource acquisition fueled America’s political and economic dominance during the 20th century, helping naturalize American imperialism as God-ordained. After exploring the early days of oil extraction through the lives of prospectors and businessmen in the 19th century, Dochuk charts trust-busting and labor unrest in the oil industry alongside renewed Christian evangelical fundamentalism between the world wars, and considers the convergence of American oil and missionary interests in the Middle East and South America in the postwar era of Billy Graham and Prosperity Gospel evangelists. Throughout, Dochuk documents dissent and resistance to the brutal labor practices in and environmental devastation from the oil industry since its earliest days. Appendixes, notes, and a selected bibliography will help readers organize and refer to the plethora of people and corporations discussed. Meticulously researched, this is a sobering study of the tightly interwoven forces of capitalism and Christianity that shape American life. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/09/2019
Release date: 05/14/2019
Genre: Religion
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