Hydrocarbons have been Bolivia's most important exports since the 1980s, yet there are few historical studies of the sector in English. Stephen Cote's Oil and Nation is thus most welcome. The overarching argument is that hydrocarbons have been central to both economic development and national consciousness, from the early nationalist debates of the 1910s and 1920s to the 2003 gas war and the quasi-nationalization of natural gas by the Evo Morales administration in 2006. Most of the book focuses on the first half of the twentieth century, and here Cote is strongest. Prior to the 1930s, the oil sector made very limited progress. Cote emphasizes the formidable obstacles in those early decades: the lack of investment capital, transport infrastructure, and state commitment, together with the remote location of oil reserves and the hostile natural environment of the Bolivian southeast. Nor did a...
Book Review|February 01 2018
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Kevin A. Young; Oil and Nation: A History of Bolivia's Petroleum Sector. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February 2018; 98 (1): 158–159. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-4294780
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