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George W. Bush says he invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the Middle East. Some people believe that. But if you have nagging doubts, you'll be intrigued by the story unraveled in It's the Crude, Dude.

With all the drama of a thriller, Canadian bestselling author Linda McQuaig probes the mystery of what really lay behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq. She points to Washington's desire to gain control of the most spectacular untapped oil bonanza on Earth--even as rapidly dwindling worldwide oil reserserves threaten to turn competition for crude into the major international battleground of the future.

That battle has actually been raging for decades. Once tightly controlled by Big Oil, most of the world's oil reserves have been taken over by nationalistic regimes in the Middle East. Ever since those regimes imposed an oil embargo on the United States in the mid-1970s, Washington has been determined to regain control over oil--by force if necessary. With China's recent emergence as a voracious oil consumer, there soon won't be enough oil left to fuel two superpowers.

Against this backdrop--and the equally urgent problem of global warming--It's the Crude, Dude reminds us of the enormous consequences of our failure to curb our addiction to oil.

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