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Private Empire

Private Empire Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9780143123545
Release 2013
Pages 685
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An investigation into the secretive corporation traces the period between the Exxon Valdez accident and the Deepwater Horizion spill to profile chief executives Lee Raymond and Rex Tillerson as well as the company's role in violent international incidents.



Private Empire

Private Empire Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9781101572146
Release 2012-05-01
Pages 704
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An “extraordinary” and “monumental” exposé of Big Oil from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll (The Washington Post) Includes a profile of current Secretary of State and former chairman and chief executive of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson In this, the first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil—the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States—Steve Coll reveals the true extent of its power. Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe—featuring kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin—and the narrative is driven by larger-than-life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005, and current chairman and chief executive Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nomination for Secretary of State. A penetrating, news-breaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.



Private Empire

Private Empire Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9780718194468
Release 2012-07-05
Pages 704
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Steve Coll's Private Empire is winner of the FT/GOLDMAN SACHS BUSINESS BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD 2012. In this prize-winning book, the author of Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens investigates the notoriously mysterious ExxonMobil Corporation and the secrets of the oil industry In many of the nations where it operates, ExxonMobil has a greater sway than that of the US embassy, its annual revenues are larger than the total economic activity in most countries and in Washington it spends more on lobbying than any other corporation. Yet despite its outsized influence, it is to outsiders a black box. Private Empire begins with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and closes with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Steve Coll's narrative spans the globe, taking readers to Moscow, impoverished African capitals, Indonesia and elsewhere as ExxonMobil carries out its activities against a backdrop of blackmail threats, kidnapping, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin. In the US, Coll goes inside ExxonMobil's ruthless Washington lobbying offices and its corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas, where top executives oversee a bizarre corporate culture of discipline and secrecy. Private Empire is the masterful result of Steve Coll's indefatigable reporting, from the halls of Congress to the oil-laden swamps of the Niger Delta; previously classified U.S. documents; heretofore unexamined court records; and many other sources.



Ghost Wars

Ghost Wars Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9780141935799
Release 2005-03-03
Pages 736
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The news-breaking book that has sent schockwaves through the White House, Ghost Wars is the most accurate and revealing account yet of the CIA's secret involvement in al-Qaeada's evolution. Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll has spent years reporting from the Middle East, accessed previously classified government files and interviewed senior US officials and foreign spymasters. Here he gives the full inside story of the CIA's covert funding of an Islamic jihad against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, explores how this sowed the seeds of bn Laden's rise, traces how he built his global network and brings to life the dramatic battles within the US government over national security. Above all, he lays bare American intelligence's continual failure to grasp the rising threat of terrrorism in the years leading to 9/11 - and its devastating consequences.



The Taking of Getty Oil

The Taking of Getty Oil Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9781504045049
Release 2017-06-13
Pages 532
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A larger-than-life account of family, greed, and a courtroom showdown between Big Oil rivals from the New York Times–bestselling author of Private Empire. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Steve Coll is renowned for “his ability to take complicated, significant business stories and turn them into quick-reading engaging narratives” (Chicago Tribune). Coll is at the height of his talents in this “riveting” tale of one of the most spectacular—and catastrophic—corporate takeovers of all time (Newsday). As the head of a sprawling oil empire, J. Paul Getty was once the world’s richest man. But by 1984, eight years after his death, Getty’s legacy was in tatters: His children were locked in a bitter feud over the family trust and the company he founded was riven by boardroom turmoil. Then Pennzoil made an agreement with Getty’s son, Gordon, to purchase Getty Oil. It was a done deal—until Texaco swooped in to claim the $10 billion prize. What followed was an epic legal battle that pit “good ole boy” J. Hugh Liedtke of Pennzoil against the Wall Street brokers behind Texaco’s offer. The scandalous details of the case would shock the business world and change the landscape of the oil industry forever. With a large cast of colorful characters and the dramatic pacing of a novel, The Taking of Getty Oil is a “suspenseful” and “always intriguing” chronicle of one of the most fascinating chapters in American corporate history (Publishers Weekly).



The Oil and the Glory

The Oil and the Glory Author Steve Levine
ISBN-10 9781588366467
Release 2007-10-23
Pages 496
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Remote, forbidding, and volatile, the Caspian Sea long tantalized the world with its vast oil reserves. But outsiders, blocked by the closed Soviet system, couldn’t get to it. Then the Soviet Union collapsed, and a wholesale rush into the region erupted. Along with oilmen, representatives of the world’s leading nations flocked to the Caspian for a share of the thirty billion barrels of proven oil reserves at stake, and a tense geopolitical struggle began. The main players were Moscow and Washington–the former seeking to retain control of its satellite states, and the latter intent on dislodging Russia to the benefit of the West. The Oil and the Glory is the gripping account of this latest phase in the epochal struggle for control of the earth’s “black gold.” Steve LeVine, who was based in the region for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Newsweek, weaves an astonishing tale of high-stakes political gamesmanship, greed, and scandal, set in one of the most opaque corners of the world. In LeVine’s telling, the world’s energy giants jockey for position in the rich Kazakh and Azeri oilfields, while superpowers seek to gain a strategic foothold in the region and to keep each other in check. At the heart of the story is the contest to build and operate energy pipelines out of the landlocked region, the key to controlling the Caspian and its oil. The oil pipeline that resulted, the longest in the world, is among Washington’s greatest foreign policy triumphs in at least a decade and a half. Along the way, LeVine introduces such players as James Giffen, an American moneyman who was also the political “fixer” for oil companies eager to do business on the Caspian and the broker for Kazakhstan’s president and ministers; John Deuss, the flamboyant Dutch oil trader who won big but lost even bigger; Heydar Aliyev, the oft-misunderstood Azeri president who transcended his past as a Soviet Politburo member and masterminded a scheme to loosen Russian control over its former colonies in the Caspian region; and all manner of rogues, adventurers, and others drawn by the irresistible pull of untold riches and the possible “final frontier” of the fossil-fuel era. The broader story is of the geopolitical questions of the Caspian oil bonanza, such as whether Russia can be a trusted ally and trading partner with the West, and what Washington’s entry into this important but chaotic region will mean for its long-term stability. In an intense and suspenseful narrative, The Oil and the Glory is the definitive chronicle of events that are understood by few, but whose political and economic impact will be both profound and lasting.



The Bin Ladens

The Bin Ladens Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9781101202722
Release 2008-04-01
Pages 688
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The rise and rise of the Bin Laden family is one of the great stories of the twentieth century; its repercussions have already deeply marked the twenty-first. Until now, however, it is a story that has never been fully told, as the Bin Ladens have successfully fended off attempts to understand the family circles from which Osama sprang. In this the family has been abetted by the kingdom it calls home, Saudi Arabia, one of the most closed societies on earth. Steve Coll’s The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century is the groundbreaking history of a family and its fortune. It chronicles a young illiterate Yemeni bricklayer, Mohamed Bin Laden, who went to the new, oil-rich country of Saudi Arabia and quickly became a vital figure in its development, building great mosques and highways and making himself and many of his children millionaires. It is also a story of the Saudi royal family, whom the Bin Ladens served loyally and without whose capricious favor they would have been nothing. And it is a story of tensions and contradictions in a country founded on extreme religious purity, which then became awash in oil money and dazzled by the temptations of the West. In only two generations the Bin Ladens moved from a famine-stricken desert canyon to luxury jets, yachts, and private compounds around the world, even going into business with Hollywood celebrities. These religious and cultural gyrations resulted in everything from enthusiasm for America—exemplified by Osama’s free-living pilot brother Salem—to an overwhelming determination to destroy it. The Bin Ladens is a meticulously researched, colorful, shocking, entertaining, and disturbing narrative of global integration and its limitations. It encapsulates the unsettling contradictions of globalization in the story of a single family who has used money, mobility, and technology to dramatically varied ends.



Eagle on the Street

Eagle on the Street Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9781504045025
Release 2017-06-13
Pages 395
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A “spellbinding account” of Wall Street deregulation in the 1980s, based on a Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post series (The New York Times Book Review). Described by the New York Times Book Review as “worthy of being on the same shelf” as Liar’s Poker, Greed and Glory on Wall Street, and Barbarians at the Gate, this eye-opening business history explains how Washington and Wall Street cut the deals that led to a decade of greed. For the Securities and Exchange Commission, the 1980s brought sweeping changes. Under the sway of Reaganomics and the leadership of John Shad, the SEC came down hard on insider trading but introduced wide-ranging deregulation to the stock market, which helped to both fuel the legendary bull market and sow the seeds of the 1987 crash. Shad, a former vice-chairman of the brokerage firm EF Hutton & Company and the first Wall Street executive to lead the SEC since Joseph Kennedy, was a true believer in the free market. His tenure touched all the big headlines and enduring images of this tumultuous decade, from leveraged buyouts to junk bonds, Manhattan skyscrapers to Senate hearing rooms, Michael Milken to T. Boone Pickens. David A. Vise and Steve Coll won the Pulitzer Prize for the original reporting in the Washington Post that would become Eagle on the Street. In an era when the costs, benefits, and risks of deregulation are under debate once again, their “engrossing account of the struggle for the soul of the SEC” is essential reading (The Washington Post).



Directorate S

Directorate S Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9780525557302
Release 2018-02-06
Pages 784
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Resuming the narrative of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars, bestselling author Steve Coll tells for the first time the epic and enthralling story of America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 9/11 Prior to 9/11, the United States had been carrying out small-scale covert operations in Afghanistan, ostensibly in cooperation, although often in direct opposition, with I.S.I., the Pakistani intelligence agency. While the US was trying to quell extremists, a highly secretive and compartmentalized wing of I.S.I., known as "Directorate S," was covertly training, arming, and seeking to legitimize the Taliban, in order to enlarge Pakistan's sphere of influence. After 9/11, when fifty-nine countries, led by the U. S., deployed troops or provided aid to Afghanistan in an effort to flush out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the U.S. was set on an invisible slow-motion collision course with Pakistan. Today we know that the war in Afghanistan would falter badly because of military hubris at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the drain on resources and provocation in the Muslim world caused by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and corruption. But more than anything, as Coll makes painfully clear, the war in Afghanistan was doomed because of the failure of the United States to apprehend the motivations and intentions of I.S.I.'s "Directorate S". This was a swirling and shadowy struggle of historic proportions, which endured over a decade and across both the Bush and Obama administrations, involving multiple secret intelligence agencies, a litany of incongruous strategies and tactics, and dozens of players, including some of the most prominent military and political figures. A sprawling American tragedy, the war was an open clash of arms but also a covert melee of ideas, secrets, and subterranean violence. Coll excavates this grand battle, which took place away from the gaze of the American public. With unsurpassed expertise, original research, and attention to detail, he brings to life a narrative at once vast and intricate, local and global, propulsive and painstaking. This is the definitive explanation of how America came to be so badly ensnared in an elaborate, factional, and seemingly interminable conflict in South Asia. Nothing less than a forensic examination of the personal and political forces that shape world history, Directorate S is a complete masterpiece of both investigative and narrative journalism.



House of Stone

House of Stone Author Anthony Shadid
ISBN-10 9780547524337
Release 2012-02-28
Pages 256
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“Wonderful . . . One of the finest memoirs I’ve read.” — Philip Caputo, Washington Post In the summer of 2006, racing through Lebanon to report on the Israeli invasion, Anthony Shadid found himself in his family’s ancestral hometown of Marjayoun. There, he discovered his great-grandfather’s once magnificent estate in near ruins, devastated by war. One year later, Shadid returned to Marjayoun, not to chronicle the violence, but to rebuild in its wake. So begins the story of a battle-scarred home and a journalist’s wounded spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this bittersweet and resonant memoir, Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house’s renewal alongside the history of his family’s flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America around the turn of the twentieth century. In the process, he memorializes a lost world and provides profound insights into a shifting Middle East. This paperback edition includes an afterword by the journalist Nada Bakri, Anthony Shadid’s wife, reflecting on his legacy. “A poignant dedication to family, to home, and to history . . . Breathtaking.” — San Francisco Chronicle “Entertaining, informative, and deeply moving . . . House of Stone will stand a long time, for those fortunate enough to read it.” — Telegraph (London)



The Last Tycoons

The Last Tycoons Author William D. Cohan
ISBN-10 9780385521772
Release 2007-04-03
Pages 608
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A grand and revelatory portrait of Wall Street’s most storied investment bank Wall Street investment banks move trillions of dollars a year, make billions in fees, pay their executives in the tens of millions of dollars. But even among the most powerful firms, Lazard Frères & Co. stood apart. Discretion, secrecy, and subtle strategy were its weapons of choice. For more than a century, the mystique and reputation of the "Great Men" who worked there allowed the firm to garner unimaginable profits, social cachet, and outsized influence in the halls of power. But in the mid-1980s, their titanic egos started getting in the way, and the Great Men of Lazard jeopardized all they had built. William D. Cohan, himself a former high-level Wall Street banker, takes the reader into the mysterious and secretive world of Lazard and presents a compelling portrait of Wall Street through the tumultuous history of this exalted and fascinating company. Cohan deconstructs the explosive feuds between Felix Rohatyn and Steve Rattner, superstar investment bankers and pillars of New York society, and between the man who controlled Lazard, the inscrutable French billionaire Michel David-Weill, and his chosen successor, Bruce Wasserstein. Cohan follows Felix, the consummate adviser, as he reshapes corporate America in the 1970s and 1980s, saves New York City from bankruptcy, and positions himself in New York society and in Washington. Felix’s dreams are dashed after the arrival of Steve, a formidable and ambitious former newspaper reporter. By the mid-1990s, as Lazard neared its 150th anniversary, Steve and Felix were feuding openly. The internal strife caused by their arguments could not be solved by the imperious Michel, whose manipulative tendencies served only to exacerbate the trouble within the firm. Increasingly desperate, Michel took the unprecedented step of relinquishing operational control of Lazard to one of the few Great Men still around, Bruce Wasserstein, then fresh from selling his own M&A boutique, for $1.4 billion. Bruce’s take: more than $600 million. But it turned out Great Man Bruce had snookered Great Man Michel when the Frenchman was at his most vulnerable. The LastTycoons is a tale of vaulting ambitions, whispered advice, worldly mistresses, fabulous art collections, and enormous wealth—a story of high drama in the world of high finance. From the Trade Paperback edition.



Why Nations Fail

Why Nations Fail Author Daron Acemoglu
ISBN-10 9780307719225
Release 2013-08
Pages 529
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An award-winning professor of economics at MIT and a Harvard University political scientist and economist evaluate the reasons that some nations are poor while others succeed, outlining provocative perspectives that support theories about the importance of institutions. Reprint.



The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ Author Hooman Majd
ISBN-10 9780141978161
Release 2013-10-31
Pages 288
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Hooman Majd, acclaimed journalist and New York-residing grandson of an Ayatollah, has a unique perspective on his Iranian homeland. In this vivid, warm and humorous insider's account, he opens our eyes to an Iran that few people see, meeting opium-smoking clerics, women cab drivers and sartorially challenged presidential officials, among others. Revealing a country where both t-shirt wearing teenagers and religious martyrs express pride in their Persian origins, that is deeply religious yet highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet reformist, this is the one book you should read to understand Iran and Iranians today.



Surveillance Valley

Surveillance Valley Author Yasha Levine
ISBN-10 9781610398039
Release 2018-02-06
Pages 384
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The internet is the most effective weapon the government has ever built. In this fascinating book, investigative reporter Yasha Levine uncovers the secret origins of the internet, tracing it back to a Pentagon counterinsurgency surveillance project. A visionary intelligence officer, William Godel, realized that the key to winning the war in Vietnam was not outgunning the enemy, but using new information technology to understand their motives and anticipate their movements. This idea--using computers to spy on people and groups perceived as a threat, both at home and abroad--drove ARPA to develop the internet in the 1960s, and continues to be at the heart of the modern internet we all know and use today. As Levine shows, surveillance wasn't something that suddenly appeared on the internet; it was woven into the fabric of the technology. But this isn't just a story about the NSA or other domestic programs run by the government. As the book spins forward in time, Levine examines the private surveillance business that powers tech-industry giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, revealing how these companies spy on their users for profit, all while doing double duty as military and intelligence contractors. Levine shows that the military and Silicon Valley are effectively inseparable: a military-digital complex that permeates everything connected to the internet, even coopting and weaponizing the antigovernment privacy movement that sprang up in the wake of Edward Snowden. With deep research, skilled storytelling, and provocative arguments, Surveillance Valley will change the way you think about the news--and the device on which you read it.



Obama s Wars

Obama s Wars Author Bob Woodward
ISBN-10 9781439172506
Release 2011-05-03
Pages 464
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Shows President Obama making the critical decisions on the Afghanistan War, the secret war in Pakistan, and the worldwide fight against terrorism.



The Bin Ladens

The Bin Ladens Author Steve Coll
ISBN-10 9780141917788
Release 2009-03-05
Pages 688
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The Bin Ladens are shrouded in secrecy, living in one of the most closed, unaccountable countries on earth. Little has been known about the world that created Osama - until now. In this gripping account prizewinning journalist Steve Coll has interviewed those closest to the family who rose from Yemeni peasants to jetsetting millionaires in two generations. In doing so, he reveals a Saudi Arabia torn between religious purity and the temptations of the West, telling a story of oil, money, power, patronage and dangerous cultural extremes.



Big Barrels

Big Barrels Author N. J. Ayuk
ISBN-10 191152559X
Release 2017-05-30
Pages 164
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Big Barrels takes aim at the perception that in Africa oil and gas can do no good. For decades, resource wealth in Sub-Saharan Africa has been synonymous with corruption and dysfunction. The reality is far more complex and generally more encouraging. In a series of eight case studies Big Barrels looks at what African nations are doing right. Employment and enterprise in Nigeria, good governance in Ghana, economic development in Tanzania, environmental stewardship in Gabon, and more - these are all elements of success in African nations' petroleum industries today. The positive trends in Africa's energy business, as well as its challenges, are presented here. Big Barrels lays out the facts on how oil and gas can be a force for good on the Mother Continent.