Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power

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Penguin, May 1, 2012 - Business & Economics - 704 pages
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“ExxonMobil has met its match in Coll, an elegant writer and dogged reporter . . . extraordinary . . . monumental.” —The Washington Post

“Fascinating . . . Private Empire is a book meticulously prepared as if for trial . . . a compelling and elucidatory work.” —Bloomberg

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Ghost Wars and Directorate S, a
n extraordinary exposé of Big Oil. 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bbbart - LibraryThing

With a father who spent nearly his entire career at ExxonMobil, obviously my youth and upbringing have been influenced in small or larger ways by this "private empire". This me buying and reading the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rocketjk - LibraryThing

This is an impressive, if depressing, book. Journalist Steve Coll has done exhaustive work painting a comprehensive picture of the policies, actions and operating philosophies of one of the largest ... Read full review


PRAISE FOR Private Empire
One One Right Answer
Two Iron Ass
Three Is the Earth Really Warming?
Four Do You Really Want Us as an Enemy?
Five Unknown Injury
Six E G Month
Seven The Camel and the Jackal
Sixteen Chad Can Live Without Oil
Seventeen I Pray for Exxon
Eighteen We Will Need Witnesses
Nineteen The Cash Waterfall
Twenty Moonshine
Twentyone Cant the C I A and the Navy Solve This
Twentytwo A Person Would Have to Eat More Than 3400
Twentythree We Must End the Age of Oil

Eight We Target Oil Companies
Nine Real MenThey Discover Oil
Ten Its Not Quite as Bad as It Sounds
Eleven The Haifa Pipeline
Twelve How High Can We Fly?
Thirteen Assisted Regime Change
Fourteen Informed Influentials
Fifteen On My Honor
Twentyfour Are We Out? Or In?
Twentyfive Its Not My Money to Tithe
Twentysix Were Confident You Can Book the Reserves
Twentyseven One Plus One Has Got to Equal Three
Twentyeight It Just Happened

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About the author (2012)

Steve Coll is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars and the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, and from 2007 to 2013 was president of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and previously worked for twenty years at The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of seven other books, including On the Grand Trunk Road, The Bin Ladens, Private Empire, and Directorate S.

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