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The Quest author Daniel Yergin became the defacto historian of the oil industry when he published his first history of the industry with The Prize. The Quest is a logical successor to The Prize, whilst not exactly being a sequel to the book. Which means that readers who are new to Mr Yergin’s work can pick up the book and read The Quest without having read his earlier work.
Whilst the body of the book is from the decline of the cold war onwards, Yergin delves into history where context is needed. The process of decolonialisation and mercantile policies probably isn’t sufficiently explored in this history. Especially as these drove the nationalisation of many oil extraction operations.
Secondly, Yergin dives into alternative energy sources including a balanced view on nuclear, wind and solar power. His insightful analysis of these alternatives makes compelling reading. I would recommend reading his critique in parallel
All of this detail comes at a cost; The Quest is a weighty book both in terms of its size and the amount of content that you have to go through. Daniel Yergin’s work is a wake-up call to the energy industry, policy makers and environmentalists alike – all of which have been guilty of not having a sensible attitude towards energy.
More book review related content here.