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4.5 out of 5 stars28
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 February 2012
This book is level-headed, sober and deeply informed account of humanity's quest for a sustainable energy system.

Covering geopolitics, economics and narrative history, Mr Yergin takes us through the last two centuries (or thereabouts) of human civilisation's relationship with energy, playing particular attention to the host of scientists, technologists, industrialists and politicians who've shaped it.

His style is wonderfully understated and incredibly knowledgeable, filling in all sorts of corners in one's knowledge. The picture painted is one of relentless progress beneath the surface; ever increasing effectiveness of energy systems; a venture capital industry getting to grips with renewables; the growing centrality of climate change to policymaking; and a fluctuating oil price which affects everything.

The book is studded with brilliant anecdotes, such as Margaret Thatcher making her cabinet sit through a day-long tutorial on climate change, or the first pre-Rio IPCC meeting, when the UN translators walked-out just as negotiations were reaching a climax, because it was against their work rules to stay past 6 pm.

Rather than taking explicit positions on the energy issues covered in this book, Mr Yergin gives the reader an understanding of, and the background to, those issues. He seriously knows his energy chestnuts, and his book is a one-stop shop for anyone seeking a rounded grasp of grasp this fundamental question for the global economy, and the prospects for our species.

Peter Baker
Author of The Jolly Pilgrim
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on 20 July 2014
Excellent product! Good value for money. Excellent service and delivery
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on 8 April 2012
Yergin covers the modern energy markets in this well written tome - mainly oil & gas but with substantial reviews of unconventional and alternatives as well as the consumption drivers

he gives a short history of the less well known and his conclusions are fair if rather worrying

Rather U S-centric in some of his examples and I had the impression that each chapter pretty much stands alone rather than being written as a whole. Some pictures but few maps or graphs which is a pity
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on 8 September 2014
Indispensable, detailed, compelling.
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on 7 September 2015
An update to The Prize.
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on 18 January 2013
A great explanation of the main political, economic, business and military driving forces that have driven the world in the last 70 years to secure energy supplies, and the dilemmas this creates for society and the environment.
An engrossing and enlightening narrative / history.
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on 30 October 2014
no comment
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on 6 December 2014
Book is an eye opener, really worth the read. The seller however was awful. The book (bought second hand) came with glue all over the last pages.
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