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The Big Answer


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

a book by Rachel Maddow

(our site's book review)

Big Oil and Gas Versus Democracy—Winner Take All

The Amazon blurb says that 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.

Being outraged at Big Oil and Gas for all the harm they've done 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
Being outraged at Big Oil and Gas for all the harm they've done 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

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.”


Big Oil and Gas Has Its Fingers in Every Pie

Once Big Oil was created, they had their tentacles into government, politics, the military and the corporatocracy
Once Big Oil was created, they had their tentacles into government, politics, the military and the corporatocracy

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

Democracy either wins this one or disappears, says Maddow
Democracy either wins this one or disappears, says Maddow


The U.S. is addicted to oil, and so is most of the world
The U.S. is addicted to oil, and so is most of the world

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

“[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

Rachel Maddow is host of the Emmy Award–winning Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, as well as the author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, a #1 New York Times bestseller. Maddow received a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Stanford University and earned her doctorate in political science at Oxford University. She lives in New York City and Massachusetts with her partner, artist Susan Mikula.

Read Blowout to see what Putin and his henchmen had to do with the 2016 election
Read Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth to see what Putin and his henchmen had to do with the 2016 election

"Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth reads like Maddow’s MSNBC monologues, piling outrage on top of outrage, peppered with breathless asides warning of Armageddon. . . . The oil and gas industry 'is the most consequential, the most lucrative, the most powerful, and the least-well-governed major industry in the history of mankind.' . . . Fossil fuels are the world’s cheap high, an international addiction, Maddow argues, creating 'such large, up-front, sweat-free gains for connected elites that no one wants to do anything else but chase the oil jackpot.' . . . although it seems hard to believe after more than 350 pages of horrors that the industry has inflicted on the environment and geopolitics around the world, Maddow claims that 'this is a doable, winnable fight here at home.'" (Source: Rachel Maddow pinpoints the root of all evils: The fossil fuel industry, Jill Dougherty, Washington Post)

The world is drunk on oil, but sick on its fumes
The world is drunk on oil, but sick on its fumes

"Anchoring the book is Russian president Vladimir Putin’s cutthroat petropolitics. Maddow contends he turned Russia’s oil and gas sectors into cesspools of corruption and inefficiency, seized well-managed private oil companies and arrested their CEOs, and made energy a foreign policy weapon while getting investments and technology from ExxonMobil." (Source: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Publishers Weekly)

“Known for her intense inquiries into complex subjects, Maddow brings her laser-like intuitiveness and keen and wily perception to Big Oil, that stalwart of global economics, and the shadowy nexus of commerce and politics. Maddow likes murky, the murkier the better, and her examination of the intricacies of off-shore drilling, transnational pipelines, and hydraulic fracking is as deep as the coveted wells themselves. . . . Like trailblazing journalists before her, Maddow exposes both the slapdash and sinister practices underlying geopolitics and energy policies and revels in peeling back the layers of malfeasance to stoke righteous outrage.”—Booklist (starred review)

Maddow's examination of the intricacies of off-shore drilling, transnational pipelines, and hydraulic fracking is as deep as the coveted wells themselves
Maddow's examination of the intricacies of off-shore drilling, transnational pipelines, and hydraulic fracking is as deep as the coveted wells themselves

“All fans of Maddow, and even her detractors, will learn something new from this highly readable yet impressively detailed book. Anyone interested in the covert deals that change the nature of the global environmental and political landscape will devour. A must-have for all collections.”—Library Journal

The oil industry has fouled oceans, gulfs, lakes, rivers and streams
The oil industry has fouled oceans, gulfs, lakes, rivers and streams

"The industry has fouled oceans, gulfs, lakes, rivers and streams; induced man-made earthquakes; strewn radioactive waste about the landscape; killed off family pets and farm animals, sickened schoolchildren; and turned state governments into impotent little quislings that rip off their own people to make sure the industry gets everything it wants and more. Surpassing all this, the industry is the chief driver of the global climate catastrophe. It has funded a decades-long campaign of denial that ensures the climate problem will get worse and that potential solutions are seen as political and economically impossible." (Source: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth, Walter Clemens, New York Journal of Books)

Remember back in the late teens when I declared the climate change crisis a fraud? OOPS! Oh well, get on your sauna clothes like I'm doing and we'll have a party. We'll have a fantastic, fantastic time!
Remember back in the late teens when I declared the climate change crisis a fraud? OOPS! Oh well, get on your sauna clothes like I'm doing and we'll have a party. We'll have a fantastic, fantastic time!

"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. . . . Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth is a call 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." (Source: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Hardcover), Booktable)

Why, oh why can’t we convince our political overlords to go ahead and really support our collective changeover to clean, renewable energy sources?
Why, oh why can’t we convince our political overlords to go ahead and really support our collective changeover to clean, renewable energy sources?

"From John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil in the early days through the biggest, richest corporation on the planet (ExxonMobil) and Rex Tillerson, to the cripplingly corrupt and regionally destabilizing oil/gas endeavors of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, we get the ultimately banal explanation for what’s been bothering us all for so very long — why, oh why can’t we convince our political overlords to go ahead and really support our collective changeover to clean, renewable energy sources, even as the need to do so asap becomes ever more obvious? As expected, the answer is 'All the money and all the power in the world.'" (Source: Blowout (a book review), joieau, Daily Kos)


The Greedy Fools Running Big Oil Are Leading Us Over a Cliff

Hopefully, Blowout will motivate us to take desperately needed action since the greedy fools running Big Oil are leading us over a cliff
Hopefully, Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth will motivate us to take desperately needed action since the greedy fools running Big Oil are leading us over a cliff

Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth hopefully will motivate us to take desperately needed action since the greedy fools running Big Oil are leading us over a cliff. We need to see through the fog of lies by those with the sickest of motives. As Maddow says, real democracy must win out, or it, as well as much of the biosphere, dies in a sixth mass extinction that already has a scary level of momentum.

As Maddow says, real democracy must win out, or it, as well as much of the biosphere, dies in a sixth mass extinction that already has a scary level of momentum
As Maddow says, real democracy must win out, or it, as well as much of the biosphere, dies in a sixth mass extinction that already has a scary level of momentum; (illustrated is the 5th mass extinction: End Cretaceous, 66 million years ago, 76% of all species lost; currrently we're in the 6th mass extinction: the Anthropocene)

Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth explores the manner by which the oil and gas industry has perverted the moral and ethical realities of modern society. It should be read by all. In 1987 the Wall Street movie character Gordon Gekko tried to convince us that "greed is good." After reading Maddow's excellent book, and after purusing the endless acts of greed and evil that led to endless evil consequences for humans, animals, and the Earth itself, it behooves us to begin to understand the real truth: Unlimited greed is evil, irresponsible greed is evil, mindless greed is evil, careless greed is evil, and heedless greed is evil. If greed is none of these, it can lead one to business success, but each of us is responsible to monitor greed consequences and be ready to adjust accordingly before evil is reached. How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes human sickness, pain, and death; animal sickness, pain, and death; and planetary sickness, pain, and death?

How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes planetary sickness, pain, and death?
How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes planetary sickness, pain, and death?


How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes human sickness, pain, and death?
How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes human sickness, pain, and death?


How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes animal sickness, pain, and death?
How can Big Oil define their enterprise as a success when it causes animal sickness, pain, and death?


Big Oil has blood on their hands
Big Oil has blood on their hands