Oil as a Staple

“By 1901, Baku [then part of the Russian Empire, now the capital of Azerbaijan Republic] produced half the world’s oil…Baku was a melting pot of pitiful poverty and incredible wealth…[T]he derricks and the refineries poisoned the city and corrupted the people…[O]il townships were polluted slums. The 48,000 workers toiled in terrible conditions, living and fighting each other in grimy streets…Life expectancy was just thirty.”

Simon Sebaj Montefiore, Young Stalin (2008)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.