The Quest

The Quest

Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World

Book - 2012
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This sequel to The Prize provides a narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change. Energy authority Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market, the rise of the "petrostate," the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive corporate mergers that transformed the oil landscape. He shows how the drama of oil will continue to shape our world, and takes on the tough questions: will we run out of oil, and are China and the United States destined to conflict over oil? He also reveals the surprising and turbulent history of nuclear, coal, electricity, and natural gas, and investigates the "rebirth of renewables", biofuels, wind, and solar energy. He further offers an original history of how the issue of climate change went from concerning a handful of scientists to one of the overarching issues of our times.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2012.
Edition: Revised & updated edition.
Copyright Date: ©2011.
ISBN: 9780143121947
Characteristics: xii, 820 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations, maps, portraits ;,22 cm.


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rvbinder Jan 15, 2012

Yergin's The Prize and The Commanding Heights are excellent. I started this 800 page tome with relish. It continues many of the themes of his earlier books, which read as well as a Tom Clancy story, but with meticulously researched facts and cogent interpretations devoid of the self-serving polemics that too often passes for intellect these days.

After the first hundred pages, I was ready to give up. Although Yergin's past books are truly masterful and very well-crafted, this has the feel of a cable news crawl. I can't go more than a few pages without getting hit with some god-awful rambling incoherence or a misspelling. The crutch phase "a couple of" is used far too often -- more than once. I wonder if this was dictated and never looked at again, except by an illiterate copy editor.

The second and third parts are much better than the first. I found the analysis of the 2007-2009 oil price spike quite interesting. It was refreshing to read an explanation of the commodities markets that shows an understanding of how they actually work, as opposed to an alarmist screed.

Yergin's mastery of the complex and diverse global energy picture is truly impressive. I've learned quite a bit from this, as well as being entertained by the story. The occasional lapses in composition seem all the more jarring given the otherwise excellent analysis and presentation.

Dec 06, 2011

note to self: resume pg 257

Nov 26, 2011

Disappointing read. Too much detail for the general reader. Too superficial for the more interested reader.

Oct 07, 2011

Exhaustive, comprehensive approach to the whole field of energy. Combines the expertise of a textbook with the readability of a shorter newspaper article. Best to take time to allow yourself to work through this densely woven exposition. My favorite parts included the evolution of the oil industry, along with contemporary geopolitics involving pipeline routes and international trade. I lost interest as the focus turned to renewable energy and future sustainability. Nonetheless, this is a substantial resource for anyone curious about any aspect of the field.

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