Friday, February 21, 2020

2/21/20: Book Review: Blowout by Rachel Maddow

Big Oil and Gas versus democracy - winner take all

With her trademark humor, Maddow guides us on a journey from Oklahoma to Moscow to the White House, revealing the greed, corruption, and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing conclusions about how and why the Russian government hacked the 2016 US 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 decay into its rivals, its neighbors, the West's most important alliances, and the United States. 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."

A fascinating book, one that every American should read cover to cover.