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University of Calgary Press Spring 2019

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    9781773850368 9781773850375 9781773850382 9781773850399
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Energy, Ecology, and the Environment 9
Imperial Standard
Imperial Oil, Exxon, and the Canadian Oil Industry from 1880
1st edition
By (author): Graham D. Taylor
9781773850351 Paperback, Trade English Professional/Scholarly BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Energy Apr 15, 2019
$39.99 CAD
Forthcoming 6 x 9 x 1 in 432 pages 31 photos, 7 maps, 5 tables University of Calgary Press
For over 130 years, Imperial Oil dominated Canada’s oil industry. Their 1947 discovery of crude oil in Leduc, Alberta transformed the industry and the country. But from 1899 onwards, two-thirds of the company was owned by an American giant, making Imperial Oil one of the largest foreign-controlled multinationals in Canada.

Imperial Standard is the first full-scale history of Imperial Oil. It illuminates Imperial’s longstanding connections to Standard Oil of New Jersey, also known as Exxon Mobil. Although this relationship was often beneficial to Imperial, allowing them access to technology and capital, it also came at a cost, causing Imperial to be assailed as the embodiment of foreign control of Canada’s natural resources.

Graham D. Taylor draws on an extensive collection of primary sources to explore the complex relationship between the two companies. This groundbreaking history provides unprecedented insight into one of Canada’s most influential oil companies as it has grown and evolved with the industry itself.

Graham D. Taylor is professor emeritus in the Department of History at Trent University. He is the author of Du Pont and the International Chemical Industry, and The Rise of Canadian Business. He is winner of the 2015 Petroleum History Society Best Article Prize


This authoritative historical study of one of Canada's largest companies provides a compelling contribution to the sparse literature on the relationships between affiliates and parents within large multinationals. Taylor expertly brings out the nuance and evolving nature of Imperial's relationship with its parent Exxon, and delivers a study of significance for all students of the global enterprise.

- Geoffrey Jones, Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Harvard Business School

Graham Taylor's history of Imperial Oil is a triumph. - Mira Wilkins, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Florida International University

Graham Taylor's broad ranging history of the most important corporate player in the development of the petroleum industry in Canada makes a ground-breaking contribution, not only to the existing literature on the vital oil and gas sector, but also to the broader fields of Canadian business and economic history.

- David Breen, Emeritus Professor, Department of History, University of British Columbia

This is not a simple case study that narrowly analyzes how yet another Canadian firm was swallowed by a U.S. colossus. Imperial Standard reveals a legacy of complicated dynamics-between subsidiary and parent, between corporation and state-and helps us understand the inception of fossil-¬fuelled industrial capitalism in this country.
- Dimitry Anastakis, Literary Review of Canada

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