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Margonelli, Lisa

Margonelli, Lisa


Education: Graduated from Yale University.


Home—Oakland, CA.


Journalist. San Francisco Chronicle Online, San Francisco, CA, writer of "Money Tales" column.


Sundance fellow in nonfiction, Sundance Institute, 1999-2000; Excellence in Journalism award, Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, for "Money Tales" column in the San Francisco Chronicle Online, 2003; Bernard L. Schwartz fellow, New America Foundation.


Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday (New York, NY), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Wired, Discover,, Business 2.0, Health, Jane, San Francisco, and California Monthly.


Lisa Margonelli is a journalist with a particular interest in energy, trade, and globalism. She is the author of Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline, a book that takes a close look at the oil industry and addresses the rise and fall of gasoline prices. She looks at the ways in which Americans spend their money on fuel, their attitudes toward driving, and at the regulations governing the oil companies and the ways in which they do business—both with oil suppliers and with front-end customers. Margonelli traveled around the world researching her story, often meeting opposition from oil company executives who were anxious for her to keep her interviews short and lacking in substance. Sonia Shah, writing in Ms., called the book "a fun, informative read." David Siegfried, writing in Booklist, found that the work "brings a deeper appreciation of the complicated and often tenuous process that we take for granted."



Book World, March 25, 2007, "The Price of Gas: A Journey into the Slippery Realms of the Oil Economy," p. 4.

Booklist, November 1, 2006, David Siegfried, review of Oil on the Brain: Adventures from the Pump to the Pipeline, p. 11.

Fast Company, March 1, 2007, Lucas Conley, review of Oil on the Brain, p. 52.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2006, review of Oil on the Brain, p. 1115.

Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Eva Lautemann, review of Oil on the Brain, p. 142.

Ms. Magazine, January 1, 2007, "Fossil Fools," p. 74.

Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2006, review of Oil on the Brain, p. 51; December 4, 2006, "Not the Usual Drill: PW Talks with Lisa Margonelli," p. 44.


Alternet, (May 28, 2007), Terrence McNally, "America Has Oil on the Brain," interview with Lisa Margonelli.

New America Foundation Web site, (June 20, 2007), author biography.

New York Times Book Review Online, (March 11, 2007), Ted Conover, "Fuel Lines."

Random House Web site, (June 20, 2007), author biography.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Online, (February 11, 2007), Steve Weinberg, review of Oil on the Brain.

Washington Post Online, (February 13, 2007), transcript of online interview with Lisa Margonelli.

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