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IC Cover A Century of Lies: Did we ever really need to be on oil? How we can get off right now.

Historian/Expert Comments


Revolutionary! Edwin Black takes off the gloves and reveals the people whose invisible hands have been shaping and controlling energy markets. Internal Combustion describes forces that have brought us to the brink of disaster, and raises a call for a green revolution to restore sanity and regain control over our destiny.
Karl Gawell, executive director
Geothermal Energy Association


Riveting. Edwin Black's Internal Combustion provides a riveting, well researched, technically on-target, no-holds barred revelation of the factors that have brought us to today's crisis point--the world's reliance on oil. His compelling narrative detailing the evolution of what has become today's global dilemma is a must-read for the technically savvy as well as for the layman.
Melvin I. Olken, Editor-in-Chief
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine


Breathtaking. Breathtaking in scope. While many other authors have looked at the various mechanical aspects of the history of the electric vehicle and our national addiction to oil, nobody has tried to tackle the big picture head-on--the question of why technologies so superior for a variety of uses has been tried and failed so often. As Edwin Black points out in Internal Combustion, the secret has less to do with technology than bad judgment, stupidity, greed and even the occasional whiff of out-and-out criminal intent. This book should get people very concerned--and very angry.
Bruce Epperson, author
Failed Colossus: Albert A. Pope, the Bicycle and the Dawn of the American Auto Industry


A Barn Burner. Edwin Black has created another barnburner! And so timely. He recounts the deplorable history of how alternative fuels and vehicles were squeezed out of the market throughout the 20th century in favor of highly polluting petroleum based products. The chain of events recounted in Internal Combustion reveals one of the sleaziest actions ever taken for financial gain--it has resulted in increasing and continuing public health and political problems for the people of the world. It is a scandal most people will understand only after reading this book.
Henry W. Wedaa,
President, California Hydrogen Business Council; Chairman Emeritus, South Coast Air Quality Management District


Prodigious Research, Ugly Truth. Conventional wisdom says that Americans addicted themselves to oil and that the free market gives people the energy sources and technologies they most desire. Edwin Black proves that the truth is uglier. Based on prodigious research deep into the historical record, Black demonstrates that power-hungry despots, avaricious monopolists, and bottom-line obsessed corporate oligarchs have long done their best to control where we get our energy and how we use it. To better understand how we got where we are today and how we can make better energy choices in the future, read this page-turner.
David Farber, author
Sloan Rules: Alfred P. Sloan and the Triumph of General Motors


Intrigue & Collusion. Black has done it again! Internal Combustion provides a compelling and anger-arousing history of energy use and the automobile--filled with intrigue and collusion--that policymakers will wish Black had written ten years ago. It reads like a tense novel, but historians will love Black's well-footnoted use of previously unknown original sources. Futurists and those tired of high Mideast oil prices will see that Black has identified the key to our future.
Mark Abramowitz
Green Coast Post


Terrific. The movement for alternative fuels has received a huge boost now that a writer of the caliber of Edwin Black, at the top rank of investigative historians, has joined the battle. His new book, Internal Combustion, gives an excellent review of how we became addicted to oil. Moreover, Black provides a terrific peek at the options we have to extricate ourselves from the horrendous national and economic security mess we've been steering towards for 100 years.
Jack Halpern, chairman,
Energy Independence Task Force
American Jewish Congress

Explosive. Edwin Black has produced an explosive, eye-opening exposé of the corporate forces that have for more than a century sabotaged the creation of alternative energies and vehicles in order to keep us dependent on oil. There is enough truth in this book to revolutionize our way of life.
Max Wallace, author
American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich


Dogged Journalism. Internal Combustion is proof that investigative works can be both illuminating and entertaining; comprehensive and thought-provoking. Through extensive research and dogged journalism, Black has given his readers a portrait of the world's modern energy crisis. From the corporate conspiracies to the political intricacies, Black connects the dots, outlines the history, and underlines the combustive relationship between civilizations and the energy sources they so dearly rely on.
Wendell Rawls, director
Center for Public Integrity


Vivid & Fascinating. With over 95 percent of our transportation energy being based on petroleum, oil underlies every aspect of our lives and our growing dependence on it is a clear and present danger to our national security. Edwin Black's Internal Combustion presents a vivid and fascinating narrative on how we got to where we are today. It is a must read for anyone who wants to delve into the roots of our national addiction.
Gal Luft, executive director,
Institute for the Analysis of Global Security;
co-chair, Set America Free Coalition


A Page Turner. As usual, Edwin Black puts all his readers in his debt by his lucid, dramatic and thought-provoking discoveries. Internal Combustion is a story that should be read by everyone concerned about the strange realities of our modern world. An indispensable contribution to the story of oil and travel: the twin pillars of our modern dilemma. A true page turner.
Martin Gilbert, author
A History of the Twentieth Century, Churchill: A Life and First World War


Brave & Gutsy. Internal Combustion is a brave and gutsy story, one that had to be told years ago. Only one modern writer has had the guts to do it, and that is Edwin Black. Internal Combustion is a publishing milestone.
Al Mankoff, electric railway historian
North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society


Gripping, Riveting and Revealing. Edwin Black digs deep into the archives to uncover the events and the players that help addict America to oil. He does a masterful and comprehensive job. Beyond that, Black, weaves these fascinating tales together into a narrative as gripping, riveting, and revealing as a good detective yarn.
Deron Lovaas, Vehicles Campaign Director
Natural Resources Defense Council


Masterful! Why are we so incredibly and collectively stupid in applying technology? Is it the so-called free market system which worships competition and institutionalizes greed? Edwin Black's Internal Combustion is a masterful telling of truth, right on the technology, right on facts, right on the history, and right on the future.
John Diers, author
Twin Cities by Trolley: The Streetcar Era in Minneapolis and St. Paul
Minnesota Streetcar Museum


Internal Combustion for the Brain. Edwin Black's new book will create internal combustion in the brains of his readers. Complacent people will become awakened and excited. People who thought they knew it all will be astonished to discover how much the world has progressed by good and bad deals. In Internal Combustion, accidental happenings become intentional and ingenious work will be shown to be doubtful. Finally we can read the truth.
Karl V. Kordesch, author
Fuel Cells and Their Applications


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