The Revenue Watch Institute and the Open Society Institute's Central Eurasia Project hosted a reception and discussion with Steve LeVine, author of the book The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea (Random House).
Remote, forbidding, and volatile, the Caspian Sea long tantalized the world with its vast oil reserves. But outsiders, blocked by the closed Soviet system, couldn't get into it. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and a wholesale rush into the region erupted. Along with oilmen, representatives of the world's leading nations flocked to the Caspian for a share of the 30 billion barrels of proven oil reserves at stake, and a tense geopolitical struggle began. The main players were Moscow and Washington—the former seeking to retain control of its satellite states, the latter intent on dislodging Russia to the benefit of the West. The Oil and the Glory is a gripping account of the latest phase in the epochal struggle for control of the earth's "black gold."
- Steve LeVine, author and former Foreign Correspondent, The Wall Street Journal.
- Anthony Richter, Associate Director, Open Society Institute, moderated.