About the Book:
• Publisher: The Penguin Press (May 1, 2012)
About the Author:
Steve Coll, winner of a 2005 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction for Ghost Warsand 1990 Pulitzer for explanatory journalism, is president of New America Foundation, and a contributor at The New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at The Washington Post, serving as the paper’s managing editor from 1998 to 2004. He is the author of seven books, including The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986);The Taking of Getty Oil (1987); Eagle on the Street, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the SEC’s battle with Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1991); On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia (1994); Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004); The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (2008); and Private Empire: Exxon Mobil and American Power (2012).
This was a door stopper of a book. I haven’t had a real hefty book for a bit and it was a real delight to sit and hold a real solid book again. And what a book it was. Starting with the the Exxon Valdez spill and book-ending with the Deepwater Horizon disaster Private Empire details the arrogance that is ExxonMobil.
Mr. Coll’s writing style is easy even when explaining oil extraction methods or the geopolitics of oil and natural gas rights. It reads almost like a suspense novel except that it’s all true. And that is what makes it so scary. I found myself turning page after page reeling at my naivete. I think I want to go back to being uninformed. It’s a happier state of mind.
Mr. Coll’s research for the book was quite extensive and the book is heavily footnoted. He conducted over 400 interviews with people great and small and he weaves what they shared together with facts gathered from all over the world to take the reader on a ride from oil fields to the offices of political power in this country and beyond. It was utterly fascinating to get a peak inside the Borg like culture of Exxon. Tow the company line or find another job.
I have not enjoyed a non fiction book this much in a long, long time. I just wish I wasn’t so surprised at what I learned.
You can see the rest of the Tour Schedule HERE
You can purchase Private Empire at Amazon.com
Disclosure: I received a copy of Private Empire gratis from TLC Book Tours. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.