Known for her intense inquiries into complex subjects, Maddow brings her laser-like intuitiveness and keen and wily perception to Big Oil, that stalwart of global economics, and the shadowy nexus of commerce and politics. Maddow likes murky, the murkier the better, and her examination of the intricacies of off-shore drilling, transnational pipelines, and hydraulic fracking is as deep as the coveted wells themselves ... Maddow’s trademark snark is on display, as is her geeky fascination with the minutiae buried beneath these massive social injustices. Like trailblazing journalists before her, Maddow exposes both the slapdash and sinister practices underlying geopolitics and energy policies and revels in peeling back the layers of malfeasance to stoke righteous outrage.
... 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 ... while the tone throughout is one of shock, amazement and condemnation, the book is not as radical in its conclusions as readers might have anticipated. Maddow advocates more stringent rules on Western companies aiding foreign corruption. And she argues for an end to subsidies for the oil and gas industry, urging that it 'pay for what it does.' I assume that means a carbon tax ... Blowou is a brilliant description of many of the problems caused by our reliance on fossil fuels. But it does not provide a path out of the darkness.
Maddow uses her knowledge, research, investigative skills, and snarky humor to complete this work about the global oil and gas industry ... The complex connections among players, including the major oil companies, American politicians, Russian oil interests, and others are displayed clearly and consistently. Not altogether surprising, Maddow furthers her discussion of the oil and gas industry to expand on how and why Russia hacked the 2016 presidential election ... All fans of Maddow, and even her detractors, will learn something new from this highly readable yet impressively detailed book. Anyone interested in the covert deals that change the nature of the global environmental and political landscape will devour. A must-have for all collections.
Fulminating comes easy to Rachel Maddow. What sets her apart from other serial fulminators is that she does it with facts — and sardonic wit ... reads like Maddow’s MSNBC monologues, piling outrage on top of outrage, peppered with breathless asides warning of Armageddon ... Maddow devotes a large section of Blowout to Russia, but it’s not what you might expect from an American writing about America’s nemesis...But Maddow goes deeper, deftly describing the sad truth that Russia and its citizens paid a steep price for Putin’s overreliance on energy ... Maddow doesn’t shy away from hyperbole...But we readers have to ask ourselves — is it really hyperbole?
[Maddow] tells this tale deliberately and methodically, building her case not as a cable commentator, but as a Rhodes Scholar academic ... Maddow builds a case of cross-cultural corruption that is marred only by the occasional informality of her prose and her sometimes-distracting wise-guy rhetoric...Even so, she displays a deep understanding of what makes Russia work in the age of Putin.
Rachel Maddow is a great storyteller. This gift combined with her skills as a reporter makes for a formidable entry into the current glut of new books about the Trump administration ... chilling and well researched ... This is a suspense story built up carefully about an industry that plays ball with dictators, thugs, and murderers. Her stories are artfully constructed. This book is highly readable, entertaining and brilliant in its compelling stories.
This is not a feel-good but a get-mad book ... Maddow’s investigations get us below the surface. Does she exaggerate? Not much, if at all ... The often muck-raking journalist can be sensational, but she does so with the skills of a Ph.D. in politics from Oxford University ... Though not all her claims are based on original research, she masterfully integrates information from many quarters ... The book contains much material to make many readers irate, but also some that is downright entertaining.
In short, accessible chapters, Maddow covers apparently distinct topics ... Maddow's tone will be familiar to viewers of her show: It's knowing, cynical, and snide. The jokes and insults are presumably meant to leaven a difficult subject; I found them irritating, an exercise in letting readers feel morally and intellectually superior. The easy contempt is most grating when it seeps outside of the circle of her legitimate targets ... But Blowout nonetheless feels like a public service. Though its value is not in original reporting. it usefully compiles the most convincing research and journalism on the harm oil and gas have done to global democracy, and then weaves together a narrative of greed, power, and corruption ... It would have been valuable, instead of making this weirdly exculpating argument, for Maddow to spend some pages on the places that have already implemented some of her environmental suggestions: countries in Western Europe.
The author may be a popular, progressive news-and-commentary anchor on MSNBC, but it’s not to be forgotten that she holds a doctorate in politics from Oxford and seems to devour whole libraries of data before breakfast each day ... Updating Daniel Yergin’s The Prize with three decades’ worth of material, Maddow concludes that big oil can and will do nothing to regulate itself and argues that 'containment is the small-c conservative answer' to the problem of 'the industry’s reliance on corruption and capture' ... Expect a tweetstorm as Maddow’s indictment of a corrupt industry finds readers—and it deserves many.
... scattershot ... Maddow tells these stories in colorful, sardonic prose, but the resulting hodgepodge doesn’t always support her portrayal of oil and gas as a 'singularly destructive industry' that 'effectively owns' governments; her absorbing account of Putin’s skullduggery is really about a vampiric government victimizing the oil industry (and includes an unconvincing link to Trump-Russia collusion theories). Maddow’s absorbing but inconsistent exposé demonizes more than it analyzes.