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John Ghazvinian

John Ghazvinian holds a doctorate in history from Oxford. He began his career with the Sunday Times, went on to cover British politics for The Nation, and from 2002 to 2004 worked for Newsweek as a stringer, based in their London bureau. He is currently an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. His book Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil was published by Harcourt in 2007. His website is at


The Curse of Oil

She had one of those scrubbed-up, warbling voices from the Northern Plains, full of flattened vowels and Scandinavian resolve, and it made me think of Fargo. The vast backdrop of Peterbilt trucks and speedboat auctions, the envelope of fresh November [...]