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Even as early as 1921 the world was noticing that in the U.S., that old Yankee mantra about "avoiding foreign entanglements" (a distortion of Washington's Farewell Address) was being updated with a disclaimer: "avoid foreign entanglements except when oil is involved".

Having put the Prussians in their place three years earlier, oil had become the new peace-time obsession for the Americans and their British ally - but it was to be the bane in their relationship: "the Anglo-American irritant" as Sydney Brooks remarked in FORTNIGHT REVIEW. With car manufacturers filling orders to placate a booming consumer market, the Brits pumped oil in Mesopotamia, the Americans in Texas while the oil companies from both locals vied for the rights to explore Latin America and the Caribbean.

     


Scrambling for Oil (Literary Digest, 1921)

Scrambling for Oil (Literary Digest, 1921)

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