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Thursday, January 23, 2020


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

Book Beginnings quote:

Friday56 quote:

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.” 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.” (From the publisher)
Review: I am hoping that my blood pressure goes down now that I am finally finished with Blowout.

Everything we have been hearing on the news lately related to Russia, Trump, taxes, cheating, Ukraine, everything...is related to the most destructive industry on earth---the oil and gas industry.

The title---"Blowout"---has a double meaning. For anyone who has a baby at home, you know what I'm talking about. So it is a perfect title...if you get yourself tangled up with the oil and gas industry you WILL BECOME soiled. Maddow shows the reader over and over and over with example after example of what this means. It is,
as a co-founder of OPEC, Venezuelan diplomat Juan Pablo PĂ©rez Alfonzo, reportedly once called oil “the excrement of the devil.” 

My husband and I listened to Blowout on audiobook, or at least the first half, we had to finish it separately, and each of us were horrified by what we learned. I could only consume it in short sessions and never before bed or before church. I'd get too riled up to go to sleep or to be prayerful otherwise.

Maddow is a commentator on MSNBC and as excellent a writer as she is in that role. She often makes information clear to me that was fuzzy before. In Blowout she draws together a whole bunch of controversies and shows the reader how they are related. I highly recommend the book but I warn you, it is not an easy read.

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  1. I don't know that I can read it. I'm already so angry and frustrated.

  2. This sounds like an incredibly timely read.

  3. Wow! The excerpts made my blood pressure soar! I do like listening to Rachel Maddow, and wish we had her perspective in high places. Our democracy is definitely at risk in so many ways.

    Enjoy! Thanks for visiting my blog.

  4. Sounds very interesting, and I agree with the others, frustrating. It might be a tough book for a lot of people to read. I hope you get value in it. Happy weekend!

  5. This book is on my must-read list. I am a huge Rachel Maddow fan. I watch her show religiously, and am always impressed by her intelligence, research, and how she connects the dots.

  6. Oh, I may find this one too much to handle right now. Perhaps when the whole impeachment trial is over and my brain has calmed down.

  7. Sounds interesting, but it might be too much for me to read right now with everything going on.

  8. What an interesting and informative sounding read. Hope you enjoy your weekend!

  9. The quips are written in such a powerful and ferocious voice, I can understand why you could only take it in small pieces. I know someone who would really like this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. I don't know if I could make it very far into this one, but it does sound like a very interesting read. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  11. It does sound intense and frustrating but also fascinating.

  12. I didn't realize she had any books - I'll have to try this.

  13. This sounds like a really powerful, important read. I didn't realize Rachel Maddow had any books out, but those snippets sound interesting.


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