Upcoming Book Forum: Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

On Wednesday January 13 at noon, Leif Wenar will be at Cato to discuss his new book, Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World. The book explores one of the great moral challenges of our time. That is, the massive benefits from development and global connectedness—in which we are all inescapably complicit—also enriched, enabled, and emboldened people who systematically made the lives of others desperate and miserable.

This cycle rolls on seemingly unabated. Indeed, the world’s dependence on oil and other natural resources continues to fuel violent conflicts and fund a large fraction of the world’s autocrats. But Wenar provides hope. After detailing the myriad negative consequences of resource wealth, Blood Oil outlines how “citizens, consumers, and leaders can act today to avert tomorrow’s crises — and how we can together create a more united human future.”

An important and timely book, Blood Oil has caught the eye of highly distinguished scholars. Angus Deaton of Princeton University and the 2015 Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, stated that “Wenar has written the indispensable guide, combining politics, economics, and ethics to tell us just how and why we are all involved, and what we ought to do to make the world a better place.” Harvard’s Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature, called Blood Oil “one of those rare manifestos that awaken people to a pressing ethical issue by changing the way they see the world.” And while noting that “philosophers rarely write big books that could change the world,” Princeton’s Peter Singer finds that “Blood Oil is such a book.”

Wenar, who is Chair of Philosophy and Law at King’s College, will be joined by Bruce W. Jentleson of Duke University and the Library of Congress, and my Cato colleagues Ian Vasquez and Christopher Preble. The forum is open to public, and we hope that you can join what is sure to be a lively and informative discussion.

Click here to register or to learn more.