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A revelatory account of how oil has shaped politics and worsened violence in occupied Iraq.

Oil lies at the heart of Iraqi politics. Yet in the eight years since the bombs began to fall on Baghdad it has been a taboo subject. In Greg Muttitt’s gripping and far-reaching investigation we are taken behind the scenes of the occupation to answer one of the war’s most pressing questions: what is happening to Iraq’s oil?

In public the USA and Britain strenuously deny any self-interest. In private, however, they tell a different story. Drawing on hundreds of unreleased government documents and extensive interviews with senior American, British and Iraqi officials and oilmen, Fuel on the Fire reveals how the occupying powers have sought to return Iraq’s oil industry to multinational companies - for the first time since it was nationalised in the early 1970s.

But America and Britain failed to take into account the determination of the Iraqis themselves - of civil society groups as well as senior oil experts – to keep production in the public sector. The attempts to impose a Western oil agenda regardless have dragged the country into ever deeper violence and continue to shape not just Iraq but the future of energy supplies and Anglo-American military strategy.

Fuel on the Fire is vital to our understanding of the war in Iraq and its consequences. It documents the clash between cultures and strategic interests. It reverberates with echoes of our imperial past and of our tragic failure to learn the lessons of history.


Nothing short of a secret history of the war

Naomi Klein

Set to turn our understanding of the war on its head


The Iraqi civil society voices resound with dignity in this brilliant, comprehensive account

New Internationalist

Excellent... A textbook example of how international pressures are put upon politicians to get them to buckle


Muttitt reveals the sheer persistence of the occupying powers in forcing the fledgling state to hand over its oil to foreign companies

David Hencke, Tribune

Fuel On The Fire shows that a desire for influence over oil supply and contracts shaped the attack on and occupation of Iraq

Solomon Hughes, Morning Star

A cracking read. This book lifts the lid on what many suspected - the West's need to grab Iraq's gigantic oil reserves was the main driver of the Bush-Blair war agenda. A compelling read, brilliantly researched, revealing how the oilmen colluded with politicians trying to outwit a determined Iraqi people traumatised in the aftermath of the invasion

David Hencke, Former Westminster Correspondent, Guardian

Greg Muttitt has done a great service with this painstakingly researched, timely book. Armed with a great depth of knowledge of oil, modern Iraq, and international politics, he reveals an untold and largely unknown facet of the occupation of Iraq, giving us a picture that is that is illuminating, informative and objective. On a subject where truth was the first casualty, this book is the closest to that truth

Tareq Y. Ismael, Professor of Political Science, University Of Calgary

Muttitt reveals the sheer persistence of the occupying powers in forcing the fledgling state to hand over its oil to foreign companies

David Hencke, Tribune

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 15, 2012


    464 pages

    RRP $24.99

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  • EBook


    July 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    464 pages

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