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The Reckoning by David Halberstam

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31. DATSUN SAVES

IF THE FIRST OIL shock, after the Yom Kippur War in 1973, enraged and discomfited the Americans, who suddenly had to pay more for gasoline, then it truly frightened the Japanese. For it was not some temporary inconvenience; it was a crisis imperiling their modern society. Their economy was entirely built upon oil, of which they, unlike the United States, had no domestic supplies. What followed was pure panic. There was immediate hoarding of nearly everything, stores were mobbed, and the government had to promise that there would be enough toilet paper for everyone. A quickie book entitled The Oil Is Cut instantly became a best-seller. A great debate commenced on the future of the Japanese economy. Some intellectuals argued for ...

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