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Blowout

Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth
Autor: Rachel Maddow
Sprecher: Rachel Maddow
Spieldauer: 15 Std. und 33 Min.
5 out of 5 stars (43 Bewertungen)

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Number-One New York Times Best Seller

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 how and why the Russian government hacked the 2016 US 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."

©2019 Rachel Maddow (P)2019 Random House Audio

Kritikerstimmen

“[Maddow] may be a popular, progressive news-and-commentary anchor on MSNBC, but it's not to be forgotten that she holds a doctorate in politics from Oxford and seems to devour whole libraries of data before breakfast each day.... Expect a tweetstorm as Maddow’s indictment of a corrupt industry finds readers - and it deserves many.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

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  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the most relevant looks onto global affairs

... in our current time. This was fascinating and amazing. I just finished 'Blowout' and it was off the charts relevant and mindblowing in its scope of current global historical affairs on the topic, so to listen to Rachel in her own voice, which expertly rendered the text as always both in a perfect tempo and with a witty levity that completely transcended the cliché of dry academic research in favour or actual educational entertainment was not only a treat, but a privilege. What I love about her work - also seen in 'Drift' which I read in print - is her unparalleled talent to boiling down very complex issues to a level of clarity that paints a picture of a huge knot of stories that are interconnected and sometimes run next to each other and over each other and contrary to each other, but when Rachel is done with them, a global picture emerges that connects all the dots and lets you look at it with a bird's eye view that reveals the logic of it. And it's one thing to apply that talent to news broadcasting in contained segements, but to be able to take that into the long form of a book that holds your attention and is unputdownable (or unearplugable) is simply impressive. Rachel Maddow is one of the few great storytellers of our time. A political bard, if you will and I hope she continues her work in whatever medium she choses for a long long time. This one is definitely worth a big recommendation.

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  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

The Most Important Book of 2019

This book is a must for anyone who has ever used oil or voted. It is unbelievable how much corruption in Russia has influenced the rest of the free world's politics and economies. Maddow manages to make an appalling situation engaging and not depressing.
I am always a fan of authors who read their own books. After listening to this book, I can also understand how she got her start on radio.

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • EdP
  • 17.12.2019

well researched, vivid and energizing

Maddow did great research and articulating work in this book. She put it all together beautifully and vividly, and her reading is just ... so HER i.e. smart, engaging and energizing !

As it happens, I worked in the extractive industry, and I admit I was amazed how somebody who admittedly didn't know anything about this industry could put together such a clever, well informed and essential book.
Two themes I found particularly interesting :
- The historical research was extraordinary well done, and the cross-referencing and conclusions-drawing was astute. I had many "aha" jubilating moments listening to this.
- The analysis of the recent (current ?) developments re. Russia's meddling in the US elections solidified my surmises, and - frankly - is very worrying.

This book is definitely one of 2019's essentials.

PS: if you enjoyed this audiobook, you will enjoy reading Fiona Hill's "Mister Putin" and "The Siberian Curse".

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

THE BOOK to understand current and future developments!

Rachel Maddow at her best: a bit funny, a bit sarcastic and MUCH information about the origins of oil drilling and the consequent oil money and oil power in american, russian and global politics. Like her TV-News-Hour easy to hear and easy to understand. A basic to want to hear and to read more about the backrounds of the actual state of global affairs!

  • Gesamt
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Geschichte
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating and disturbing read/listen

What a fascinating book! I really didn’t know much about the oil industry beyond that they’re greedy, corrupt and destroying our environment. This book gives the oil and gas industry some real color and - in a story telling mode - dives deep into the history of this nasty business. It also becomes clear that politics today is about money, the power that money can buy and enormous greed. The situation today in the USA with a malignant liar in charge is all about dropping sanctions to Russia so that a few select people can increase their grotesque wealth. Trump obviously wants to belong to this corrupt clan very badly.
Blowout is easy to follow and having it read to you by Rachel Maddow herself is a great bonus as she is an excellent narrator.
Now I’m going to buy Drift - if it’s half as good as Blowout, I’ll be thrilled.