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A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher
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A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea
“After all the spilled oil and spilled ink, this book stands as the most enthralling tale of the interminable Gulf drilling disaster of 2010. Achenbach has a rare talent for making the alien world of offshore oil accessible. Telling a harrowing story of humans wrestling with a technological and environmental crisis beyond their control, he gives us an inside perspective on torturous decision-making under the watchful eyes of a nation.”
--Tyler Priest, University of Houston, Senior Policy Analyst, National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
“A brilliant expose of what occurred behind the scene. The readers will be enthralled. Anyone who is an energy user must read this book. That means everyone since it is hard to live without consuming energy.”
--Greg McCormack- Former Director of the Petroleum Extension service at the University of Texas
“If I want to find out what's just happened, I’ll switch on the radio. If I want to find out why it happened, I’ll read Joel Achenbach. He’s the best explainer alive."
--Gene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for The Washington Post and author of The Fiddler In the Subway
“A high-stakes adventure story, masterfully told.”
--Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God and Nonzero: The Logic of Human
"Here's what really happened at the spill -- a compelling look behind the curtain. Joel Achenbach, one of America's best journalists, digs up thousands of previously undisclosed documents to weave a deeply human story of failure, heroism, and the high price of oil addiction."
--David Von Drehle, author Triangle: The Fire That Changed America
About the Author
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More About the Author
Here's my boilerplate bio:
Joel Achenbach has been a staff writer for The Washington Post since 1990, started the newsroom's first online column in 1999 and the paper's first blog, Achenblog, in 2005. His seventh book, "A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea," an account of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and its aftermath, will be [whoa, make that WAS] published in April 2011 by Simon & Schuster. His syndicated column Why Things Are (1988-1996), which he began when he worked at The Miami Herald, appeared in 50 newspapers and three collections of the column were published by Ballantine Books. He has been a regular contributor to National Geographic since 1998, writing stories on such topics as dinosaurs, particle physics, earthquakes, extraterrestrial life, megafauna extinction and the electrical grid. Now assigned to the Post's national desk, he writes on science and politics and helped cover the Deepwater Horizon story. A 1982 graduate of Princeton University, he has taught journalism at Princeton and Georgetown University. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Mary Stapp, and three daughters.
In case that's too confusing, here's the basic point: I'm something that used to be known as "a newspaper reporter."
Top Customer Reviews
People would dearly love for the Macondo blowout, the explosion aboard and the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, and the months-long effort to find a way to shut down the Well From Hell to have relatively simple explanations and a handful of clear-cut villains (how many of us were denied the pleasure of blaming it all on Dick Cheney, ex-CEO of Halliburton?) BP greed? Sloppy work and cutting corners? Hubris? Crass stupidity? Government bumbling? Alas, no.Read more ›
And page 72, alone, is worth the price of the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have read 4 of these books so far and this is the most accuratePublished 2 months ago by Peter A Zwart
Very well written. Fairly technical for a lay person (me). The book cried out for some diagrams.Published 13 months ago by Paul Bianchi
Great enjoyable book . Easy to understand . A book everyone can pick up and read .Published 13 months ago by James evans
Lucid prose by a skilled science journalist, great in-depth sketches of what went wrong with Deepwater Horizon from a technological and bsuiness level. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Dogsnwriting
This book is not about the race to kill the well. It's about the government's role and the people that spoke to the press. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Diode
Excellent resource for information on BP's Deepwater Horizon oil spill. I read many of Mr. Achenbach's articles as the crisis unfolded. Read morePublished on December 12, 2013 by Patti Ann
Joe Achenbach is an exceptional writer who lays bare each step that led to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by bonnie_blu
It is amazing what can go wrong when technology gets out of control! Greed must play a part in many of these events.Published on February 13, 2013 by Larry G. Goby
Nice book, interesting for oilfield trash like me, still comprehensible for "outsiders". Nice journalism, lot of suspension, but I disliked typical "blame the mud... Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by Piotr Sowinski