Review: History isn’t over yet

Tony Yates on a brave attempt to unravel the Gordian knot of oil and geopolitics

The World Today
Published 1 April 2022 Updated 31 March 2022 2 minute READ

Tony Yates

Former professor of economics, University of Birmingham

Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century
Helen Thompson, Oxford University Press, £20

Helen Thompson is a professor of political economy at Cambridge University and was co-host of the Talking Politics podcast with her colleague David Runciman which has now broadcast its final episode. Listeners will be accustomed to her erudition on a wide range of topics.

They won’t be surprised therefore that her new book has the same ambition, attempting in 267 pages to give a global history and an account of the interlocking nature of geopolitics, oil, economics and finance, finishing with a treatise that reflects on the origins and fragility of the modern, democratic nation state. And though, ordinarily, putting out a book on geopolitics as war breaks out would be unlucky, Disorder survives contact with the present.

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