Blowout - Rachel Maddow


By Rachel Maddow

  • Release Date: 2019-10-01
  • Genre: Political Science
Score: 4.5
From 356 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Big Oil and Gas Versus Democracy—Winner Take All

“A rollickingly well-written book, filled with fascinating, exciting, and alarming stories about the impact of the oil and gas industry on the world today.”—The New York Times Book Review

In 2010, the words “earthquake swarm” entered the lexicon in Oklahoma. That same year, a trove of Michael Jackson memorabilia—including his iconic crystal-encrusted white glove—was sold at auction for over $1 million to a guy who was, officially, just the lowly forestry minister of the tiny nation of Equatorial Guinea. And in 2014, Ukrainian revolutionaries raided the palace of their ousted president and found a zoo of peacocks, gilded toilets, and a floating restaurant modeled after a Spanish galleon. Unlikely as it might seem, there is a thread connecting these events, and Rachel Maddow follows it to its crooked source: the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry.

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.”


  • I’m finished.

    By Globalstandard Space
    Uuumm, it’s.... maybe good. I guess, everybody like oil and gas. ....Right?
  • Great book!

    By Botero74
    Maddow is one of the leading journalist in the world and this book shows it. I hope is not the last. Just a suggestion from a Colombian: she should write about the most powerful illegal industry in the world and its effects on democracy: drugs. I watch TRMS every night. She’s the best. Thanks Rachel.
  • Greatest read so far this year.

    By zendude8404
    A must read for anyone who wants to know what is “really “ going on.
  • Eye-opening

    By hollydolly895
    Really great if you want to understand what is going on with our current political state and the oil and gas industry influence
  • Eye opening!

    By BenjiSwift
    Maddow breaks down an overwhelming topic in a way that is fun to read, equally enraging, and horny for justice & democracy.
  • Extraordinarily Thorough

    By Jon S Redding
    Wide-ranging, darkly witty, and brilliantly reported, this deep dive indictment of the corrupt and corrupting influence of Big Oil is one of the most important books you could read this decade. If you have questions about Russia aggression on the world stage and weird American defensiveness around it, you’ll have a lightbulb moment reading this.
  • Who knew?

    By Benn2771
    It is commonly said that wars are about oil once we got into the Middle East conflicts. With this excellent sourced book you get to view the actual detailed history and current content on the “How? and “Why?”. Maddow never gets attacked by the Right wing nuts especially not by Fox News. Why? Because she does her homework. Reading this masterpiece of well organized “facts” will go down in history as one of the best narratives of why we are dead as a country if we don’t do OUR homework. Mark that a big giant FAIL before it’s too late.
  • Enjoyed and Appreciated

    By GameRater4Credits
    This book was written in the best way possible. The formatting and chronological order was perfect, kept me gasping the entire time. Great job, RM.
  • Crap

    By Hawgfan
    Couldn’t get past the first few pages. What a load of delusion and bull. The obituaries are better than this.
  • if I could make this 10 stars I would gladly do so!!!!

    By Uncledavid456
    David P Allen, contributing editor emeritus, Videography magazine