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The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World Hardcover – September 20, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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.”  — Dwight Garner, 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.” — Fareed Zakaria, 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 endeavour… 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

“The book then takes us on an exploration of the energy industry and its history, touching down in so many remote corners of the globe, filled with such a huge cast of sinister business magnates, visionary scientists, political scoundrels and con men that it sometimes reads like a novel.” — LOS ANGELES TIMES

"This fascinating saga is the definitive book on the most important of global issues, the quest for sustainable sources of energy. Dan Yergin, the prominent energy expert of our times, weaves together security and environmental concerns to explain the system we have toady and to analyze the sensible paths forward. This is one book you must read to understand the future of our economy and our way of life." — Walter Isaacson, author of STEVE JOBS and EINSTEIN

"The Quest by Daniel Yergin, one of the world's most experienced and influential authorities on global energy, may well become the definitive work on the science, history, and economics of this most complex and important subject. This masterful and illuminating book on one of the most vital issues of our time, one that will powerfully influence international politics, economics, and nations worldwide, should be essential reading for policymakers everywhere." — Dr. Henry Kissinger, author of ON CHINA

"In the magisterial style of his earlier global narrative of energy politics, The Prize, Daniel Yergin has again delivered a sweeping, authoritative account of the science, economics, and geopolitics of energy. His writing, as ever, is clear and intelligent, and his subject could hardly be timelier." — Steve Coll, author of THE BIN LADENS and GHOST WARS

"The Quest superbly captures the great questions of energy and security that face our nation in this risky world. Daniel Yergin identifies the key issues, demonstrates their urgency, and lays out the choices. He does so with such deep expertise and with such vivid narrative writing as to make this book both important and compelling. It can help us see our way to a safer and sounder energy future." — Senator Richard Lugar, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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  I HS 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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Press (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594202834
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594202834
  • ASIN: 1594202834
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Richard of Connecticut VINE VOICE on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We all live fast paced and complex lives. If you are a reader then the key choice you must master is what to read. There is simply too much out there, and you cannot absorb it all. Every now and then a book comes along which is the equivalent of a precious diamond. It is so full of information, presented in such an interesting way that you can't bring yourself to put it down. You couple this characteristic with an author who is a major thinker and what you have when you put it all together is a 1 in a 100 type book. This is a book that changes everything we know about energy.

This is Daniel Yergin

Daniel Yergin is such an author, and this is such a book. It has now been two decades since the he turned the world upside down with his Pulitzer Prize winning "The Prize - The Epic Quest for Oil". To have read it is to understand the world. Its monumental impact affected our economy and Wall Street. In the last few years it became apparent that The Prize needed a badly needed update, not just a chapter added. Instead of completely revamping The Prize, Yergin did one better, he chose to write on the world of energy in general and then incorporate revisions from his previous writings which were necessary. This brings us to "The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World".

We live in world that currently creates $65 trillion per year in gross production of goods and services. Our country does close to $15 trillion of this production, while Europe as a whole does slightly more. Within 20 years the world is expected to produce $130 trillion, that's a doubling in just 2 decades. Now here's the problem as laid out in the book. Yergin clearly spells out that in the developed world today we use about 14 barrels of oil per person per year.
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Format: Hardcover
The Quest" is an 804-page up-to-date sequel to energy-consultant Yergin's earlier best-selling, Pulitzer winning "The Prize." Topics covered include the Soviet Union's breakup, Japan's recent earthquake and tsunami, major mergers in the oil industry, Iraq War II, China's growth in energy demand, peak oil, a nuclear Iran, the 'Dutch disease, and how energy production and distribution is vulnerable to cyber warfare. Yergin also criticizes California's deregulation of electricity that created shortages, and Marion Hubbert for his 'peak-oil' theorizing.

A side benefit of "The Quest" is that it also provides important insights on related issues. For example, readers learn that the Arab oil embargo and 1973 October War helped sustain the Soviet Union via their associated quadrupling of oil prices - Russia's main source of hard currency. (Prior to the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, it was the world's #1 oil producer; it now has returned to that position.) At the time of the breakup they were having difficulty even feeding children in major cities - thus, the popular story that it was Reagan's defense buildup that broke their economic back (denied by Gorbachev) probably isn't true. Regardless, such heavy reliance on natural resources probably also 'infected' the Soviets then (Russia today) with the so-called 'Dutch disease' in which other economic areas remain weak and undeveloped. Yergin also illustrates how the Dutch disease infected Nigeria and Venezuela as well. Conversely, China had no such richness of natural resources, and that probably helped push it towards the broad range of competencies it has achieved. One also learns important details of how the Russian oligarchs came about, and the subsequent feuding of some with Putin that led to their downfall.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some two centuries ago a profound economic shift upset the traditional relations of East and West. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution, Western Europe and the United States began to overtake the great civilizations of China and India, the planet's wealthiest and most sophisticated societies throughout most of recorded history.

Now those two centuries of increasing imbalance are coming to an end, the result of the combined effects of five centuries of globalization beginning with Columbus; advances in transportation and communication in the 19th and 20th Centuries; the rapid spread of literacy, especially in the years following World War II; and major improvements in healthcare, which dramatically extended life expectancy across the globe. As the 21st Century continues to unfold, we may yet see today's wealthiest economies -- those of Europe and the United States -- fall behind the Asian giants, as they tap the potential of billions of increasingly healthy, well-educated citizens.

This tectonic shift in geopolitical relations lends great urgency to energy politics today. The rise of the East is as great a factor in the sourcing and distribution of energy resources as climate change. Both factors loom large in economic researcher Daniel Yergin's superb new book, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World.

In 1991 Yergin published The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power, which gained the #1 spot on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, won the Pulitzer Prize, and established his firm, Cambridge Energy Research Associates, as the country's most sought-after voice on energy issues.
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