Enduring Legacy Oil, Culture, and Society in Venezuela

ISBN-10: 082234419X
ISBN-13: 9780822344193
Edition: 2009
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Description: Oil has played a major role in Venezuela's economy since the first gusher was discovered along Lake Maracaibo in 1922. As Miguel Tinker Salas demonstrates, oil has also transformed the country's social, cultural, and political landscapes. InThe  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Duke University Press
Publication date: 5/11/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 344
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

Oil has played a major role in Venezuela's economy since the first gusher was discovered along Lake Maracaibo in 1922. As Miguel Tinker Salas demonstrates, oil has also transformed the country's social, cultural, and political landscapes. InThe Enduring Legacy, Tinker Salas traces the history of the oil industry's rise in Venezuela from the beginning of the twentieth century, paying particular attention to the experiences and perceptions of industry employees, both American and Venezuelan. He reveals how class ambitions and corporate interests combined to reshape many Venezuelans' ideas of citizenship. Middle-class Venezuelans embraced the oil industry from the start, anticipating that it would transform the country by introducing modern technology, sparking economic development, and breaking the landed elites' stranglehold. Eventually Venezuelan employees of the industry found that their benefits, including relatively high salaries, fueled loyalty to the oil companies. That loyalty sometimes trumped allegiance to the nation-state. United States and British petroleum companies, seeking to maintain their stakes in Venezuela, promoted the idea that their interests were synonymous with national development. They set up oil camps, residential communities to house their workers. The camps brought Venezuelan employees together with U.S. and British workers, and eventually with Chinese, West Indian, and Mexican migrants as well. Through the camps, the companies offered not just housing but also education, recreation, and acculturation into a structured, corporate way of life. Tinker Salas contends that these practices shaped the "heart and soul" of generations of Venezuelans whom the industry provided with access to a middle-class lifestyle. His interest in how oil shaped the consciousness of Venezuela is personal; Tinker Salas was born and raised in one of its oil camps.

Emily Rosenberg specializes in U.S. foreign relations in the twentieth century and is the author of SPREADING THE AMERICAN DREAM: AMERICAN ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL EXPANSION, 1890-1945 (1982); FINANCIAL MISSIONARIES TO THE WORLD: THE POLITICS AND CULTURE OF DOLLAR DIPLOMACY (1999), which won the Ferrell Book Award; A DATE WHICH WILL LIVE: PEARL HARBOR IN AMERICAN MEMORY (2004); and TRANSNATIONAL CURRENTS IN A SHRINKING WORLD, 1870-1945 (2014). Her other publications include (with Norman L. Rosenberg) IN OUR TIMES: AMERICA SINCE 1945, Seventh Edition (2003), and numerous articles dealing with foreign relations in the context of international finance, American culture, and gender ideology. She has served on the board of the Organization of American Historians, on the board of editors of the American Historical Review, and as president of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Preface
Introduction: Oil, Culture, and Society
A Tropical Mediterranean: Lake Maracaibo at the Turn of the Century
The Search for Black Gold
La Ruta Petrolera: Learning to Live with Oil
Oil, Race, Labor, and Nationalism
Our Tropical Outpost: Gender and the Senior Staff Camps
The Oil Industry and Civil Society
Oil and Politics: An Enduring Relation
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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