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Undiscovered Saudi Arabia Oil Manuscript Published 50 Years Later

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge: Fans of Wallace Stegner will be interested to know that he's coming out with a new book this month. That may sound a little strange.

The great American writer, who's famous for novels like Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety , died more than ten years ago. In fact, his new book was written in the 1950s.

The book is called Discovery! The Search for Arabian Oil . It was commissioned about fifty years ago by Aramco, the Arabian American Oil Company . Aramco's corporate descendent is the oil company Chevron. Aramco wanted Stegner to write a proud history of the company's partnership with the Saudi Kingdom. The company's search for oil resulted in discovery of vast amounts that have impacted the economics and politics of the world. But Aramco wasn't entirely pleased with Stegner's book and decided to suppress the manuscript.

But now it's coming out. Ironically, it's being published by Tim Barger, the son of the former CEO of Aramco who made the decision to not publish Stegner's book. Tim joins me in studio to tell us the story of Stegner's involvement and the story of what the oil brought to the isolated Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  

Tim Barger will be speaking about Discovery! The Search for Arabian Oil at the Barnes & Noble in Oceanside this Fri. Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.

Guest

  • Tim Barger, publisher of the Wallace Stegner’s book Discovery! The Search for Arabian Oil

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