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

Penguin Random House Audio

Narrated by Rachel Maddow

15 hr 33 min
37

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

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.”
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Publisher
Penguin Random House Audio
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Published on
Oct 1, 2019
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Duration
15h 33m 8s
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ISBN
9781984846730
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Political Science / Corruption & Misconduct
Political Science / Geopolitics
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Eligible for Family Library

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Read by Christopher Ryan Grant

CHRISTOPHER RYAN GRANT  is an actor and voice artist based in New York City. As well as narrating numerous audiobooks, and lending his voice to video games, animated shows, and radio/TV campaigns, he has also appeared on Broadway in The Iceman Cometh starring Denzel Washington and the Tony Award winning Million Dollar Quartet. He has been seen on stage recently in Coriolanus at Shakespeare in the Park, at The Public, Lincoln Center, New World Stages, Yale  Rep, Shakespeare Theatre (D.C.), The MUNY, and at NY Stage & Film among many others. Film/TV credits include Rolling on the Floor Laughing, Hard Times For Softcore, How You Are To Me, “The Other Two”, and “Nella the Princess Knight”. 
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Leonnig and Rucker, with deep and unmatched sources throughout Washington, D.C., tell of rages and frenzies but also moments of courage and perseverance. Relying on scores of exclusive new interviews with some of the most senior members of the Trump administration and other firsthand witnesses, the authors reveal the forty-fifth president up close, taking readers inside Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as well as the president’s own haphazard but ultimately successful legal defense. Here for the first time certain officials who have felt honor-bound not to publicly criticize a sitting president or to divulge what they witnessed in a position of trust tell the truth for the benefit of history.

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Donald Trump loves golf. He loves to play it, buy it, build it, and operate it. He owns 14 courses around the world and runs another five, all of which he insists are the best on the planet. He also claims he's a 3 handicap, almost never loses, and has won an astonishing 18 club championships.

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Based on Reilly's own experiences with Trump as well as interviews with over 100 golf pros, amateurs, developers, and caddies, Commander in Cheat is a startling and at times hilarious indictment of Trump and his golf game. You'll learn how Trump cheats (sometimes with the help of his caddies and Secret Service agents), lies about his scores (the "Trump Bump"), tells whoppers about the rank of his courses and their worth (declaring that every one of them is worth $50 million), and tramples the etiquette of the game (driving on greens doesn't help). Trump doesn't brag so much, though, about the golf contractors he stiffs, the course neighbors he intimidates, or the way his golf decisions wind up infecting his political ones.

For Trump, it's always about winning. To do it, he uses the tricks he picked up from the hustlers at the public course where he learned the game as a college kid, and then polished as one of the most bombastic businessmen of our time. As Reilly writes, "Golf is like bicycle shorts. It reveals a lot about a man." Commander in Cheat "paints a side-splitting portrait of a congenital cheater" (Esquire), revealing all kinds of unsightly truths Trump has been hiding.
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