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.
note to self: resume pg 257
Disappointing read. Too much detail for the general reader. Too superficial for the more interested reader.
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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