Petrolia: The Landscape Of America's First Oil Boom by Brian BlackPetrolia: The Landscape Of America's First Oil Boom by Brian Black

Petrolia: The Landscape Of America's First Oil Boom

byBrian BlackEditorEdward K. Muller

Paperback | October 21, 2003

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In Petrolia, Brian Black offers a geographical and social history of a region that was not only the site of America's first oil boom but was also the world's largest oil producer between 1859 and 1873. Against the background of the growing demand for petroleum throughout and immediately following the Civil War, Black describes Oil Creek Valley's descent into environmental hell. Known as "Petrolia," the region charged the popular imagination with its nearly overnight transition from agriculture to industry. But so unrestrained were these early efforts at oil drilling, Black writes, that "the landscape came to be viewed only as an instrument out of which one could extract crude." In a very short time, Petrolia was a ruined place—environmentally, economically, and to some extent even culturally. Black gives historical detail and analysis to account for this transformation.

Brian Black is an associate professor of history and environmental studies at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College, and editor of Pennsylvania History.
Title:Petrolia: The Landscape Of America's First Oil BoomFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.61 inPublished:October 21, 2003Publisher:Johns Hopkins University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801877326

ISBN - 13:9780801877322

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Editorial Reviews

Although Black uses the development of Petrolia to make larger points about how resource extraction changes ecological interactions, he is also interested in the region as a specific place with a specific history... While other scholars have written about what happens when capital is used to extract a resource from one region for the benefit of another, Black tells the story of transformation in this oil-rich valley at a level of detail and care that is rich and interesting in its own right.