Private Empire

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143123545
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Business & Economics

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

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101572146
Release Date: 2012-05-01
Genre: Business & Economics

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

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780718194468
Release Date: 2012-07-05
Genre: Business & Economics

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.

The Taking of Getty Oil

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781504045049
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Business & Economics

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).

On the Grand Trunk Road

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0143115197
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Travel

Steve Coll's trek across South Asia.

The Bin Ladens

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101202722
Release Date: 2008-04-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

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.

The Oil and the Glory

Author: Steve Levine
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781588366467
Release Date: 2007-10-23
Genre: History

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.

Ghost Wars

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141935799
Release Date: 2005-03-03
Genre: History

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.

Directorate S

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780525557302
Release Date: 2018-02-06
Genre: Political Science

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.

The Deal of the Century

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781504045032
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Business & Economics

A New York Times–bestselling author’s “superbly reported” account of the dismantling of the world’s largest corporation (The Washington Post). Written by the two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Ghost Wars and Private Empire, The Deal of the Century chronicles the decade-long war for control of AT&T. When the US Department of Justice brought an antitrust lawsuit against AT&T in 1974, the telecommunications giant held a monopoly on phone service throughout the country. Over the following decade, an army of lawyers, executives, politicians, and judges spent countless hours clashing over what amounted to the biggest corporate breakup in American history. From boardroom to courtroom, Steve Coll untangles the myriad threads of this complex and critical case and gives readers “an excellent behind-the-scenes look” at the human drama involved in the remaking of an entire industry (The Philadelphia Inquirer). Hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “rich, intricate and convincing,” The Deal of the Century is the definitive narrative of a momentous turning point in the way America does business.

Eagle on the Street

Author: Steve Coll
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 9781504045025
Release Date: 2017-06-13
Genre: Business & Economics

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).

The Quest

Author: Daniel Yergin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101563700
Release Date: 2011-09-20
Genre: Business & Economics

This long-awaited successor to Daniel Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Prize provides an essential, overarching narrative of global energy, the principal engine of geopolitical and economic change A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize–winning book, The Prize. In The Quest, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change and conflict, in a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. The Quest tells the inside stories, tackles the tough questions, and reveals surprising insights about coal, electricity, and natural gas. He explains how climate change became a great issue and leads readers through the rebirth of renewable energies, energy independence, and the return of the electric car. Epic in scope and never more timely, The Quest vividly reveals the decisions, technologies, and individuals that are shaping our future.

House of Stone

Author: Anthony Shadid
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780547524337
Release Date: 2012-02-28
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

“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 Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780385528429
Release Date: 2008-09-23
Genre: Social Science

Including a new preface that discusses the Iranian mood during and after the June 2009 presidential election and subsequent protests, this is an intimate look at a paradoxical country from a uniquely qualified journalist. The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, Hooman Majd offers perspective on Iran's complex and misunderstood culture through an insightful tour of Iranian culture, introducing fascinating characters from all walks of life, including zealous government officials, tough female cab drivers, and open-minded, reformist ayatollahs. It's an Iran that will surprise readers and challenge Western stereotypes. A Los Angeles Times and Economist Best Book of the Year With a New Preface

The Big Rich

Author: Bryan Burrough
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143116820
Release Date: 2010
Genre: History

Recounts how Texas oil transformed wealth and power in America through the stories of the state's four most influential oil families, tracing how they rose from modest backgrounds, shaped the government, and bankrolled the rise of modern conservatism.