image of the book cover of Energy in the Americas

Energy in the Americas: Critical Reflections on Energy and History

Edited by Amelia M. Kiddle

$44.99 CAD / $44.99 USD (S)

416 pages, 25 images

6 x 9 inches

Paperback: 978-1-55238-939-3

Epub: 978-1-55238-942-3

Mobi: 978-1-55238-943-0

Library PDF: 978-1-55238-941-6

October 2021

Buy Now

Energy in the Americas provides a hemispheric perspective on the historical construction of contemporary debates on the role of energy in society

Understanding the history of energy and the evolving place of energy in society is essential to faceing the changing future of energy production. Across North and South America, national and localized understandings of energy as a common, public, or market good have influenced the development of energy industries.

Energy in the Americas brings the diverse energy histories of North and South American nations into dialogue with one another, presenting an integrated hemispheric framework for understanding the historical constructions of contemporary debates on the role of energy in society. Rejecting pat truisms, this collection historicizes the experiences of producers and policymakers and assesses the interplay between environmental, technological, political, and ideological influences within and between countries and continents.

Breaking down assumptions about the evolution of national energy histories, Energy in the Americas broadens and opens the conversation. De-emphasizing the traditional focus on national peculiarities, it favours an international, integrated approach that brings together the work of established and emerging scholars. This is an essential step in understanding the circumstances that have created current energy policy and practice, and the historical narratives that underpin how energy production is conceptualized and understood.

About the Editor

Amelia M. Kiddle is Associate Professor of History and Latin American Studies at the University of Calgary and a specialist in the history of Mexican foreign relations.

With Contributions By Michael Camp, Paul Chastko, Linda B. Hall, Pablo Heidrich, Amelia M. Kiddle, Brian S. McBeth, Daniel Macfarlane, Juan Pablo Bohórquez Montoya, Dermot O’Connor, Joseph A. Pratt, Tyler Priest, Esteban Serrani, Gail D. Triner and César Yáñez

Praise for Energy in the Americas:

This is an impressive collection that crosses borders in more ways than just geographical territory. Covering different cases from Canada to Patagonia, the authors encourage us to rethink the history of energy in all of its varieties: petroleum, hydro, coal, nuclear, solar, thermal, and more. The timeliness and necessity of the exercise cannot be underestimated in the era of climate change.

—Myrna Santiago, Professor of History, Saint Mary’s College of California

This collection showcases research by many of the leading energy historians studying North and South America today. Collectively, the chapters document the tumultuous history of energy production, policies, and politics across two continents during the past century. What is truly unique about Energy in the Americas, however, is its hemispheric perspective. By bringing together energy histories from North and South America, this collection shows how global energy systems were shaped by distinctive national factors, while also revealing previously hidden continuities in the Western Hemisphere’s energy history.

—Jeffrey T. Manuel, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Table of Contents



“When Will We See the Pendulum Effect?” Critical Reflections on Energy and History in the Americas
Amelia M. Kiddle

Unpacking Latin American Oil and Gas Policies: Views on Energy as a Market, Common, and Political Good
Pablo Heidrich

Primary Energy Consumption and Economic Growth in Chile, 1844–2010
César Yáñez Gallardo

The Commercial and Political Dynamics of the Crude Oil Industry: The Case of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group in Venezuela, 1913–1924
Brian S. McBeth

Exxon and the Rise of Producer Power in Venezuela
Joseph A. Pratt

Current Concerns: Canadian–United States Energy Relations and the St. Lawrence and Niagara Megaprojects
Daniel Macfarlane

Tellico Dam, Dickey Dam, and Endangered Species Law in the United States during the 1970s
Michael Camp

Seismic Innovations: The Digital Revolution in the Search for Oil and Gas
Tyler Priest

Optimism, Fear, and Free Trade: Canada’s Winding Path to a Globalized Petroleum Industry, 1930–2005
Paul Chastko

The New Political Economy of Petroleum in Brazil: Back to the Future?
Gail D. Triner

The Expropriation of YPF in Historical Perspective. Limits of State Power Intervention in Argentina, 1989–2015
Esteban Serrani

Coming Full Circle: Mexican Oil, 1917–2018
Linda B. Hall

The Neoliberal Transformation of Colombia’s Energy Sector and Some Implications for Democratization in the Post-conflict Period
Dermot O’Connor and Juan Pablo Bohórquez Montoya

List of Contributors