Mideast oil changed world





When the price of oil roared to record highs last week, it was duly noted. But another milestone passed almost unremarked: Monday was the 100th anniversary of the discovery of oil in the Middle East.

Britons William Knox D'Arcy and George Reynolds are not exactly household names in America, but it was D'Arcy's money and gambler's nerve, and Reynolds' hardheaded persistence that brought in the first gusher in what is today Iran.

The discovery would change the world. Over the next century, as America and the Middle East became locked in an extraordinary embrace, the flow of cheap, abundant oil would bring wealth and war; it would fuel mighty economies, determine the destinies of nations, and shape the everyday lives of almost everyone on the planet.

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