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Documentary Description

The most valuable substance on earth has brought wealth to poor nations and nearly bankrupted wealthy ones. It has created cities overnight--sometimes destroying them just as quickly--and has caused rampant international warfare. When a Canadian chemist found a way to turn petroleum into kerosene in the 1850s, the need for oil exploded. "Black gold" burns at the heart of the modern age, making those who control it the wealthiest and most powerful men on earth. Black Gold: The Story of Oil narrates the stories of these men--including John D. Rockefeller and William Mellon--and the empires they built. Learn how oil came to dominate American industry--and about the nation's current dependency--and discover why the resource continues to cause global flare-ups. EMPIRES OF INDUSTRY presents the comprehensive history of "black gold," the resource that continues to govern our world.

Empires of Industry
Empires of Industry is a mini-series which explores the cornerstones of America's economic might that established the United States as a world leader. Each of the one hour programs in this remarkable series focuses on an industry which played a unique role in America's rise to world economic dominance. The stories of changing fortunes in the steel, coal, brewing, ship building and textile industries reveal much about our country's past and present. Empires of Industry would be useful for classes on American History, History of Science and Technology, Economics and American Culture. It is appropriate for middle school and high school.


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