Customer Reviews for

Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Frightening yet true. Disturbingly on-point and revealing. Mak

Frightening yet true. Disturbingly on-point and revealing. Makes me want to hide my head in the sand or scream from the nearest rooftop--or vote Democratic. Yeah, that last one is the only one that really might work. Thanks to the author for putting this truth out t...
Frightening yet true. Disturbingly on-point and revealing. Makes me want to hide my head in the sand or scream from the nearest rooftop--or vote Democratic. Yeah, that last one is the only one that really might work. Thanks to the author for putting this truth out there; it took guts, and I'm sure many ideologues will still be in denial...but let them do the legwork to try to disprove it.

posted by firesidereader2 on May 2, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Know the Truth before you begin reading.

So very maney of us in this country are reall, really tired of all the print media that is written from a slanted PC or liberal point of view.
You can take any data and turn it into only one point of view and that is what I object to in this muck-raking, yellow journal...
So very maney of us in this country are reall, really tired of all the print media that is written from a slanted PC or liberal point of view.
You can take any data and turn it into only one point of view and that is what I object to in this muck-raking, yellow journalism world view of this author and the publishing company behind him.
Want to get Mr. Obama re-elected? Just write and publish books as this one.
Written so one sided, Coll's book is profe our system works and also proves you can use our system to distart the true picture of a great company.
Chairo

posted by chairo on May 4, 2012

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  • Posted May 4, 2012

    Know the Truth before you begin reading.

    So very maney of us in this country are reall, really tired of all the print media that is written from a slanted PC or liberal point of view.
    You can take any data and turn it into only one point of view and that is what I object to in this muck-raking, yellow journalism world view of this author and the publishing company behind him.
    Want to get Mr. Obama re-elected? Just write and publish books as this one.
    Written so one sided, Coll's book is profe our system works and also proves you can use our system to distart the true picture of a great company.
    Chairo

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2012

    Frightening yet true. Disturbingly on-point and revealing. Mak

    Frightening yet true. Disturbingly on-point and revealing. Makes me want to hide my head in the sand or scream from the nearest rooftop--or vote Democratic. Yeah, that last one is the only one that really might work. Thanks to the author for putting this truth out there; it took guts, and I'm sure many ideologues will still be in denial...but let them do the legwork to try to disprove it.

    4 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2012

    Re: Anom. May 4, 2012

    Before you critique any book, may I show you the function of spell-check?

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing and Fascinating - Hard to Put Down

    Pri­vate Empire: Exxon­Mo­bil and Amer­i­can Power by Steve Coll is a non-fiction book about the influ­ence Exxon­Mo­bil yields over world econ­omy and pol­i­tics. While the book has many aspects of the company’s agenda, whether it be sci­ence or pol­i­tics, with clar­ity and zest.

    The book is com­posed of 28 chap­ters, includ­ing excel­lent foot­notes and is divided into two parts. Part I is called The End of Easy Oil and part II is called The Risk Cycle. Instead of devot­ing another whole book (or two) for the com­plete his­tory of the com­pany, Mr. Coll chose to start with the Exxon Valdez inci­dent in March 1989 which shaped the com­pany as we know it today.

    The Exxon Valdez inci­dent was a defin­ing moment for the com­pany and is cov­ered in detail. It is a proper begin­ning (even though not “the” begin­ning) because it clearly shows how future CEO Lee Ray­mond would revamp Exxon’s struc­ture and behav­ior using the tragedy.

    Pri­vate Empire: Exxon­Mo­bil and Amer­i­can Power by Steve Coll is a com­pelling book about one of the biggest, most pow­er­ful and influ­en­tial Amer­i­can com­pa­nies ever cre­ated. One aspect of this book is fas­ci­nat­ing; the other is a dis­turb­ing to real­ize the sway a pri­vate entity has over the affairs of the union.

    Mr. Coll, a Pulitzer Prize win­ning author, quickly goes through the his­tory of the com­pany, from its incep­tion by John D. Rock­e­feller as Stan­dard Oil, through its break up by Trust Busters in 1911, the emer­gence of Exxon and the merger with Mobil Oil. Together with the United States, Exxon grew in power through­out the 20th Cen­tury to dom­i­nate the world’s oil mar­ket and wield sig­nif­i­cant polit­i­cal power.

    The author chose to write around the tenure of CEO Lee Ray­mond to tell the story. Through Raymond’s eyes the reader under­stands how deci­sions are made, gov­ern­ments come and go and the rise of this global pri­vate empire.

    The chap­ters I found fas­ci­nat­ing, and a bit fright­en­ing to be hon­est, were the ones involv­ing ExxonMobile’s secu­rity forces. After an exec­u­tive Sid­ney Reso has been kid­napped and killed Mr. Ray­mond revamped the com­pany from a secu­rity per­spec­tive. Essen­tially Exxon­Mo­bil became its own state with inter­nal secu­rity (filled with ex Secret Ser­vice agents), jet fleets, sol­diers (work­ing for Exxon­Mo­bil or for a for­eign gov­ern­ment which the com­pany paid) and a new build­ing designed for secrecy in Dal­las, TX.

    In all its rigid­ity, Exxon­Mo­bil changes with the times. After “invest­ing” $722,000 in polit­i­cal action com­mit­tee money in 2008 (I call it bribes), the com­pany decided to sup­port a car­bon tax once Obama was elected, adjust­ing its stance to con­tinue its close rela­tion­ship with Washington’s new administration.

    Through­out the book it is tol

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    To random

    Im not here fr se.x im here to meet ew epople. Thats what my friend says it was she said it was a get to gether

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Krisy

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    To random

    Im a female!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Random

    Your also sick!!#! Go get a life in real world instead of being a virtual nerd!!!!!!!!!!!!#######!!!!!!!:D

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    This book was written for the reader that wants a book to be lon

    This book was written for the reader that wants a book to be long in reading. There are a a lot of repetitive information. I love economics but this book was the most trying I have ever read. The title was catching and peaked my interest but the insides couldn't keep me interested

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2012

    Interesting and a little scary

    Got this book based on an interview on NPR with the author. Interesting from the point of view of how much influence and "reality" almost unlimited money can buy. The NPR reviewer was appalled at how Exxon was heavily funding the science calling into question global warming while the research arm was studying how they could use global warming to find and exploit oil. Not really surprising, if you think about it.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    A great primer on a Transnational Corporation

    Coll presents a fierce narrative on an oversized corporation that wields enormous power over the globe. If you do not figure out that the mega transnational corporations are in reality authoritarian governments serving a tiny elite, then you are not paying attention.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    Listened to on a roadtrip

    I have been a fan of mr.coll's previous works based upon the simple abundancec of verifiable information, not necessarily because i agree with every conclusion. As with any work that involves something people feel strongly about, read the information and draw a conclusion, i think this book enables the reader to do that. I recommend it and look forward ro re-listening to it in the future to see if i feel differently about it after time and other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Xavier

    Head to the next book over

    0 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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