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

eBook - 2020
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THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Corrupt? Yes. Unimaginably lucrative? Of course. But the enemy of democracy? Blowout is the oil and gas industry as we've never seen it before. Blowout is a blackly comic switchback journey with America's most incisive political journalist, from Washington to Siberia and Equatorial Guinea, from deep within the earth's crust to the icy Arctic seas. We witness the underground detonation of a nuclear bomb, an inept Russian spy ring, an international financial crisis, and murdered cows. And what it reveals is not just the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas but why the Russian government hacked the 2016 U.S. election. Because Russia's rich reserves of crude have in fact stunted its growth, forcing Putin to maintain his power by spreading Russia's rot into its rivals, its neighbours, and the West's alliances. The oil and gas industry has polluted oceans and rivers but also polluted democracy itself - in developing and developed countries. It has 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 our final wake-up call: to stop subsidizing oil and gas, to fight for transparency, and to check the influence of the world's most destructive industry. The stakes have never been higher. As Maddow writes, 'Democracy either wins this one or disappears.'
Publisher: 2020. ,
ISBN: 9781473579774
Branch Call Number: REM
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive
Alternative Title: Blow out

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Mar 26, 2020

Wow...what a book. So well written, in Maddow’s usual hyper-intelligent but easy to understand style. Also with Maddow’s clever sarcasm, but the content and the story is infuriating, for the most part. It reads like a ‘History of Big Oil Corruption and Destruction’, but the official sub-title is “Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry On Earth”. All true.
And I learned quite a bit from page one to page 400, including the term/theory “Resource Curse” (Google it) which repeatedly proves itself through so many examples (and is now occurring in Alberta).
The book takes especially deep dives into a) Putin’s Russian oil industry/monopoly/oligarchy, including how that has influenced American oil companies and politics (and still does—see trump); and b) the truly disgusting world of fracking—focusing on Oklahoma, where basically unregulated fracking led to a massive spike in earthquakes (hundreds and hundreds--sometimes per MONTH), while making oil companies filthy rich, and the state dirt-poor (mostly because the oil companies were permitted to pay next to no taxes into the state’s coffers). Lessons to be learned for Canadians—including B.C.
The depth of research and how all the parts fit together is a testament to Maddow’s writing ability, plus her knowledge and dedication to the subject (likely at a substantial personal sacrifice—she says “I promise I will not do this again”).
Besides Putin and his thugs, and the American natural gas fracking billionaires, one other main player gets special attention and scorn—former ExxonMobil CEO (and later U.S. Secretary of State) Rex Tillerson. He cozied up to Putin early and often, to get a piece of Russia’s oil production. Almost to the point of treason to keep the profits soaring and stockholders happy. ExxonMobil also teamed up with other global dictators for their oil (with none of the payoffs getting to the citizens).
Absolutely worth the read.

Feb 28, 2020

Awful!!! Thought the subject matter would make it a good read. After a couple of pages I was reminded why I don't watch MSNBC.

Feb 24, 2020

The latest book from MSNBC host, author of "Drift," and scourge of sweaty palmed, spineless Republicans everywhere. It's about oil but is a less a history and more about how Russia has basically become a deeply corrupt petro-state run like a mob, with its dirty thumbs in global politics, including, of course, are own. So much collusion. She has a tendency towards sardonic comments, which may annoy some readers, but I enjoyed it. Also, "Kochland," "Dirty Money," "This Changes Everything," and "American Oligarchs."

Feb 17, 2020

Not really a fan of her extraneous comments and most of the book was lifted from other's books and other's research. A reasonable summary of other peoples work.

Dec 29, 2019

This is a very good look at the recent history of the United States and how it is influenced by the oil and gas industry. However, it lacks some of the incisive syntheses of Maddow's previous book. Much of it is revelatory reporting, rather than sharp analysis to which we have become accustomed from this TV personality/reporter. Blame the author of KOCHLAND and a few others who have appeared on Maddow's show. they have to some extent, stolen her thunder.

Dec 20, 2019

Outstanding!! The reader gets a better picture of what motivates Putin and explains his behaviors. It tells us a great deal about the oil and gas industry and their horrible effects on the whole world. Their only aim is to make money and there is no concern for the health and safety of millions. If they must work with dictators--it's ok''it's just important to get more oil and more money. Rex Tillerson is one of those CEOs that is driven to that. They want lows taxes and few regulations. Just a free rein.

Dec 08, 2019

If you want to understand the craziness in this country and why folks are so willing to deny our democratic procedures in the constitution....this follows the money and why Nancy Pelosi says all roads lead to Putin.

Oct 23, 2019

Exactly the type of investigative journalism I have come to expect from Rachel Maddow.

debwalker Oct 10, 2019


Oct 03, 2019

I think the reviewers of this book don't understand enough about the issues MS. Maddow is discussing to come to the conclusions that they made. She seemed to be spot on in her analyses of the Putin connections to everything. I finished the book just hours ago and virtually everything struck me as true, her conclusions and summations totally accurate.

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