Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Big Oil and Gas Versus Democracy—Winner Take All
 
In 2010, the words “earthquake swarm” entered the lexicon in Oklahoma. That same year, a trove of Michael Jackson memorabilia—including his iconic crystal-encrusted white glove—was sold at auction for over $1 million to a guy who was, officially, just the lowly forestry minister of the tiny nation of Equatorial Guinea. And in 2014, Ukrainian revolutionaries raided the palace of their ousted president and found a zoo of peacocks, gilded toilets, and a floating restaurant modeled after a Spanish galleon. Unlikely as it might seem, there is a thread connecting these events, and Rachel Maddow follows it to its crooked source: the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry.

With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. She deftly shows how Russia’s rich reserves of crude have, paradoxically, stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia’s rot into its rivals, its neighbors, the West’s most important alliances, and the United States. Chevron, BP, and a host of other industry players get their star turn, most notably ExxonMobil and the deceptively well-behaved Rex Tillerson. The oil and gas industry has weakened democracies in developed and developing countries, fouled oceans and rivers, and propped up authoritarian thieves and killers. But being outraged at it is, according to Maddow, “like being indignant when a lion takes down and eats a gazelle. You can’t really blame the lion. It’s in her nature.”

Blowout is a call to contain the lion: to stop subsidizing the wealthiest businesses on earth, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world’s most destructive industry and its enablers. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, “Democracy either wins this one or disappears.”

3 comments on “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth”

  1. A brilliant deep dive into the geopolitics of the fossil fuel companies - a wake up call to action! This is for sure some of Rachel Maddow's best work. And that's saying something given her prior achievements in relationship to ‘deep-dive’ journalism. It should be required reading for anybody who wants to understand how we got on the near precipice of the staggering environmental catastrophe known as ‘global warming’ and now increasingly referred to with that other euphemism - ’climate change’. The book is riveting, charming, infuriating, and brilliant in its depiction of the co-option of...

  2. Captivating and extremely informative The history of the oil and gas industry and how it has permeated politics, trade relations and more is chronicled in BLOWOUT, by Rachel Maddow. Maddow starts with Rockefeller and the beginning of the oil industry and continues through the beginning of the Trump administration. Maddow covers the environmental impacts of the industry, the greed and narcissistic dominance that breeds from oil and gas, and the political highs and lows that have crossed paths with desire to be master of oil and...

  3. The truth Another fascinating and eye opening read by my favorite anchor/reporter/ hero. An important addition to her previous book this one focuses on the oil and gas industries. Russia, Tillerson Exon Mobil are all exposed and it’s a mouth gaping account of corporate greed, lies and how we need to act now, before it’s too late.

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