Actual Blood for Actual Oil: When Standard Oil Invaded Paraguay


Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt by H.W. Brands (Background on the US oil industry)

The Nature of Oil in Bolivia, 1896-1952 by Sarah. T. Hines (political ramifications of the Chaco War in Bolivian and South American politics.)

The Gran Chaco War: Fighting for Mirages in the Foothills of the Andes by Robert Craig Johnson for (Good stuff on the respective militaries, their commanders, organization, and weapons.)

The Chaco Dispute by William R. Garner (Deals well with the diplomatic and economic precursors that led to the war and the diplomacy that ultimately ended it)

The Chaco War by Bruce W. Farcau (Long, detailed, probably the best book length book about the war in English. Too dismissive of Standard Oil’s involvement, however)

  • Rodrigo Rosa

    this article is full of non-sense.
    Standard Oil was reducing operations in Bolivia since 1931 after a failed exploration campaign east of Aguarague mountain range. The company never provided the Bolivian Government the funds for weapons purchase. In fact, the Weapons Contract with Vickers Armstrong was reduced from 3000000 pounds to 1250000, due to the lack of funds from Bolivian sources.
    During war, Standard Oil declared itself neutral, in order to avoid advanced tax payments or war effort cooperation, they also dismantled partially the oil refineries at Sanandita and Camiri, bootlegged oil to Argentina, and refused to support Bolivian requirements for international credits.
    Is this the attitude of a war mongering company? I don’t think so.
    There was never a ” second army raised from ambivalent Quechua farmers”. 90% of the army manpower came from urban population, mostly criollos and mestizos, that spoke Spanish as their main tongue.