“Anointed with Oil” places religion and oil at the center of American history. As prize-winning historian Darren Dochuk reveals, from the earliest discovery of oil in America during the Civil War, citizens saw oil as the nation’s special blessing and its peculiar burden, the source of its prophetic mission in the world. Over the century that followed and down to the present day, the oil industry’s leaders and its ordinary workers together fundamentally transformed American religion, business, and politics — boosting America’s ascent as the preeminent global power, giving shape to modern evangelical Christianity, fueling the rise of the Republican Right, and setting the terms for today’s political and environmental debates.
Ranging from the Civil War to the present, from West Texas to Saudi Arabia to the Alberta Tar Sands, and from oil-patch boomtowns to the White House, this is a sweeping, magisterial book that transforms how we understand our nation’s history.
Darren Dochuk is associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. He is author of From Bible Belt to Sunbelt, which received the John H. Dunning Prize from the American Historical Association (best first or second book in American history) and the Ellis W. Hawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians (best book in post-Civil War political history), and was based on a dissertation that was awarded the Allan Nevins Prize from the Society of American Historians (best dissertation in American history). He has also edited several other books in American religious history. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta–Canada’s oil capital–he now lives in South Bend, Indiana.