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

Crown. Oct. 2019. 432p. notes. index. ISBN 9780525575474. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780525575498. POL SCI
Maddow (host, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show; Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power) uses her knowledge, research, investigative skills, and snarky humor to complete this work about the global oil and gas industry. Beginning with a brief history of the oil and gas industry in the United States and the former Soviet Union, Maddow then moves on to modern removal methods, including the controversial fracking process and its devastating environmental impacts. She also details the end of the Cold War and the eventual rise of Russian oligarchs, including Vladimir Putin. The complex connections among players, including the major oil companies, American politicians, Russian oil interests, and others are displayed clearly and consistently. Not altogether surprising, Maddow furthers her discussion of the oil and gas industry to expand on how and why Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election.
VERDICT 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.
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