Magazine October 31, 2011, Issue

Power Politics

Daniel Yergin at the Reuters Energy Summit in Washington, D.C., June 1, 2009 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, by Daniel Yergin (Penguin, 816 pp., $37.95)

Daniel Yergin won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for The Prize, his monumental, 700-page history of the world oil market. Judging from the size and scope of the sequel, he must be shooting for the Nobel Prize this time: The 800-page volume covers just about everything that happened in the past 100 years relating to energy, and then some.

Often he wanders rather far afield. We get a long narrative of the 1991 Gulf War, a rehearsal of the events leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and even an account of how John von Neumann first conceived his computer.

William Tucker — Mr. Tucker is author of Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Power Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America’s Energy Odyssey.

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A bunch of obnoxious, freakish-looking people made a spectacle of themselves in downtown New York. You don’t say.

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