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The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern Worldby Daniel Yergin
Synopses & Reviews
This long-awaited successor to Daniel Yergin's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize provides an essential, overarching narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change.
Renowned energy authority Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Prize, in this gripping account of the quest for the energy the world needs — and the power and riches that come with it. A master storyteller as well as one of the world's great experts, Yergin proves that energy is truly the engine of global political and economic change, as well as central to the battle over climate change. From the jammed streets of Beijing, the shores of the Caspian Sea, and the conflicts in the Mideast, to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us inside the decisions and choices that are shaping our future. Without understanding the realities of energy examined in The Quest, we may surrender our place at the helm of history.
One of our great narrative writers, Yergin tells the inside stories-of the oil market, the rise of the "petrostate", the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive corporate mergers that transformed the oil landscape. He shows how the drama of oil-the struggle for access to it, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of its use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it-will continue to shape our world. He takes on the toughest questions-will we run out of oil, and are China and the United States destined to conflict over oil?
Yergin also reveals the surprising and turbulent history of nuclear, coal, electricity, and natural gas. He investigates the "rebirth of renewables"-biofuels and wind-as well as solar energy, which venture capitalists are betting will be "the next big thing" for meeting the needs of a growing world economy. He makes clear why understanding this greening landscape and its future role are crucial.
Yergin further brings climate change into unique perspective by offering an original and unprecedented history of how the issue went from concerning a handful of scientists, terrified of a new Ice Age, to one of the overarching issues of our times.
The Quest presents an extraordinary range of characters and a panorama of dramatic stories that illustrate the principles that will shape a robust and flexible energy security system for the decades to come. It is an extraordinary achievement from an author who is truly one of our nation's great resources.
"The romance with fossil fuels that the author chronicled in his 1993 Pulitzer-winning The Prize sours in this absorbing survey of the global energy industry and its environmental discontents. Yergin opens with an entertaining account of the last two decades of the oil-industry soap opera, recounting the chaos in the post-Soviet oil industry, the roller-coaster of oil price bubbles and collapses, and the impact of China's voracious appetite on energy markets. Enlivened with piquant historical background and profiles of major industry figures, Yergin's treatment is a canny analysis of terrain he understands well. (His debunking of peak oil anxieties is especially trenchant.) The book's second half examines the rise of global warming politics and the energy sources proposed as alternatives to carbon. Yergin's coverage is evenhanded, encyclopedic, and readable, but his mastery of these complex issues is less confident; his tour of renewables, from wind to cellulosic ethanol and algae, lacks depth and sometimes repeats boosterish claims, while his chapter on energy efficiency focuses more on green gadgetry than on lifestyle patterns. Yergin's perceptive, entertaining guide to the muddled quest for secure and sustainable energy lacks a systematic vision of how we might — or might not — get it. Photos. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This is a profound, unique, and brilliantly written book about some of the most important issues of our times." Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO, FedEx Corporation
"The search for sufficient, clean energy represents the defining challenge of this generation. Daniel Yergin has masterfully connected the forces of economics and geopolitics with the complex science of energy production and climate change. The Quest provides a lucid guide through the forest of issues that stands between us and a sustainable energy future." Susan Hockfield, president, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"Mr. Yergin is back with a sequel to The Prize. It is called The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, and, if anything, it's an even better book. It is searching, impartial and alarmingly up to date....The Quest will be necessary reading for C.E.O.s, conservationists, lawmakers, generals, spies, tech geeks, thriller writers, ambitious terrorists and many others....The Quest is encyclopedic in its ambitions; it resists easy synopsis." The New York Times
"A sprawling story richly textured with original material, quirky details and amusing anecdotes....The tale is generously sprinkled with facts debunking common misperceptions, and Mr. Yergin sagely analyzes how well the energy industry really works." The Wall Street Journal
"An important book...a valuable primer on the basic issues that define energy today. Yergin is careful in his analysis and never polemical....Despite that, The Quest makes it clear that energy policy is not on the right course anywhere in the world and that everyone — on the left and the right, in the developed and the developing world — need to rethink strongly held positions." The New York Times Book Review
"Mr Yergin's previous book, The Prize, a history of the global oil industry, had the advantage of an epic tale and wondrous timing....The Quest, as its more open-ended title suggests, is a broader and more ambitious endeavor....The Quest is a masterly piece of work and, as a comprehensive guide to the world's great energy needs and dilemmas, it will be hard to beat." The Economist
"It is a cause for celebration that Yergin has returned with his perspective on a very different landscape....[I]t is impossible to think of a better introduction to the essentials of energy in the 21st century. In Yergin's lucid, easy prose, the 800 pages flow freely....The Quest is...the definitive guide to how we got here." The Financial Times
"The Quest is a book — a tour de force, really — that evaluates the alternatives to oil so broadly and deeply that the physical tome could double as a doorstop....It is best read slowly, perhaps one chapter per day maximum, if the goal is to actually absorb the rich detail and sometimes complicated workings described by Yergin." USA Today
In this gripping account of the quest for the energy that our world needs, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Prize. A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. It is a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future.
The drama of oil — the struggle for access, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it — continues to profoundly affect our world. Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market, the surge in oil prices, the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive mergers that transformed the landscape of world oil. He tackles the toughest questions: Will we run out of oil? Are China and the United States destined to come into conflict over oil? How will a turbulent Middle East affect the future of oil supply?
Yergin also reveals the surprising and sometimes tumultuous history of nuclear and coal, electricity, and the "shale gale" of natural gas, and how each fits into the larger marketplace. He brings climate change into unique perspective by offering an unprecedented history of how the field of climate study went from the concern of a handful of scientists preoccupied with a new Ice Age into one of the most significant issues of our times.
He leads us through the rebirth of renewable energies and explores the distinctive stories of wind, solar, and biofuels. He offers a perspective on the return of the electric car, which some are betting will be necessary for a growing global economy.
The Quest presents an extraordinary range of characters and dramatic stories that illustrate the principles that will shape a robust and flexible energy security system for the decades to come. Energy is humbling in its scope, but our future requires that we deeply understand this global quest that is truly reshaping our world.
A Soul of the New Machine for our time, a gripping account of invention, commerce, and duplicity in the age of technology
A worldwide race is on to perfect the next engine of economic growth, the advanced lithium-ion battery. It will power the electric car, relieve global warming, and catapult the winner into a new era of economic and political mastery. Can the United States win?
Steve LeVine was granted unprecedented access to a secret federal laboratory outside Chicago, where a group of geniuses is trying to solve this next monumental task of physics. But these scientists— almost all foreign born—are not alone. With so much at stake, researchers in Japan, South Korea, and China are in the same pursuit. The drama intensifies when a Silicon Valley start-up licenses the federal laboratorys signature invention with the aim of a blockbuster sale to the worlds biggest carmakers.
The Powerhouse is a real-time, twoyear thrilling account of big invention, big commercialization, and big deception. It exposes the layers of competition and ambition, aspiration and disappointment behind this great turning point in the history of technology.
About the Author
Daniel Yergin is one of the most influential voices on energy in the world and a highly respected authority on energy, international politics and economics. He is a recipient of the United States Energy Award for "lifelong achievements in energy and the promotion of international understanding." Dr. Yergin received the Pulitzer for The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power, which became a number one best seller and was made into an eight-hour PBS/BBC series seen by 20 million people in the United States. He is chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates, the leading research and consulting firms in its field. He serves as CNBC's Global Energy Expert.
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