Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Crude Britannia: How Oil Shaped a Nation

May 19, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm BST

‘This book superbly illustrates how the UK’s toxic relationship with oil has defined our politics, our lives and our culture. An engrossing read’ – Jon King, Gang of Four

Join James Marriott, Terry Macalister and a wide-ranging panel for this special launch event marking the release of Crude Britannia: How Oil Shaped a Nationpublished by Pluto Press, as part of Radical May.

Taking the reader on a journey from North East Scotland, Merseyside and South Wales to the Thames Estuary and London, this is the story of Britain’s oil-drenched past, present and future; of a black gold empire built on financial power, political meddling and environmental destruction.

For decades, BP and Shell extracted the minerals, finance and skills of the UK. Working behind the scenes, Big Oil profoundly influenced the country’s culture. Then, at the start of the 21st century, the tide seemed to go out – Britain’s refineries were quietly closed; the North Sea oilfields declined. Now, while the country goes through the seismic upheavals of Brexit and the climate emergency, many believe the age of oil to be over. But is it?

The authors speak to oil company executives and traders, as well as refinery workers, filmmakers and musicians, activists and politicians, putting real people at the heart of a compelling story.

The panel on power, politics and climate will feature:

James Marriott – of Platform and the co-author of The Oil Road (Verso, 2012) and The Next Gulf (Constable, 2005).

Terry Macalister – ex-Energy Editor of the Guardian.

Caroline Lucas – Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Gail Bradbrook – co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.

Jake Molloy – North Sea Trade Union organiser.

Suzanne Dhaliwal – Climate Justice Campaigner and creative.

Dave Randall – musician (Faithless/Slovo) and author of Sound System The Political Power of Music (Pluto Press, 2017).

Radical May brings together authors and publishers from over 15 countries for an inspiring and multilingual programme of round tables, talks and debates with some of the world’s leading radical thinkers. View the full 2021 programme here.

Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the stream before the event. It will start at 19:00 GMT. You can also find the event on Pluto Press’ YouTube channel. The event will be recorded and uploaded to the channel after the event too.

Signed book plates are available for attendees based in the UK, just choose the relevant ticket type. Once your signed book plate ticket has been purchased, please email kierano@plutobooks.com with your address and we will post a hardback copy of Crude Britannia along with the book plate. These will be posted after the event and may take a couple of weeks to arrive.

Crude Britannia is available to order from the Pluto Press website. Attendees of this event can get 30% off the hardback and ebook editions, using the coupon code CRUDE30 at the checkout.


May 19, 2021
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm BST


Pluto Press
View Organizer Website