Saturday, October 19, 2019


Blowout is an absolutely chilling political commentary delineating the connections between the insanely profitable oil and gas industry, Russian government, big business, and the US government. Released 1st Oct 2019 by Crown, it's 370 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

Rachel Maddow is renowned for her biting commentary and no 'BS' political essays/podcasts/shows. More often than not, my political and philosophical feelings align with hers, so it's not really a surprise that in most ways, this book shocked, dismayed, and enraged, but didn't surprise me. Whether or not the reader agrees with her, the meticulous research and build-up of her exposition isn't really up for dispute. She knows what she's talking about and she builds up the connections step-by-step.  This attention to detail means that the first half of this book can feel slow...but by the time she ties the disparate threads together, the extrapolated conclusions are foregone.

This was a difficult read for me. It's very easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. The current news cycles spin at whiplash speed and I know more people who feel burnt out and disgusted (and apathetic) about the state of the political and commercial landscapes than who don't. The point that the author makes (and does so compellingly) is that more and more, the alliances which are the tectonic plates moving society and controlling life as we know it are not ones of political alliance or stateship, but commercial entities which owe allegiance only to the ridiculously wealthy men controlling them and making alliances across previously forbidden geopolitical lines.  She puts it succinctly enough, "Powerful enemies make for big, difficult fights".  I just hope we have enough energy and intelligence left to fight.

Five stars. Definitely a sure bet for people who enjoy intelligently written nonfiction.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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