Had a difficult time following the first part of this book as I wasn't familiar with the characters / players / history of the patchwork of states that have emerged since the fall of communism. Perhaps I missed it or perhaps its just impossible to tell the outrageous stories contained in The Prize about powerful people still living. There is probably alot to fear from those people. I would bet my last gold deutsche mark the stories that will one day be told will make this period of time very interesting indeed. Unfortunately I didn't find the first half that interesting, though I really need to sit down with a map and some additional history books to gain a better appreciation. Certainly the role of Russia and its satellites in the world today is vastly underrated. The discussion of Putin and Europe alone is worthwhile enough to justify reading the first 40% of the book.
Really hit stride when discussing the US energy markets and the competing energy alternatives. The book is ambitious and perhaps has too much ground to cover. I know something about these markets so I looked forward to hearing what Daniel Yergin had to say. I have to say I am really impressed by the author. Did he persuade anyone with this book? Probably not as the book is really a quick synopsis of key items and drivers for the energy industry in the recent past and foreseeable future. All as seen and interpreted by Daniel Yergin. I really trust his judgement, but clearly readers who disagree with the fundamental view of the author may not enjoy this book as much. Personally I think if you disagree with Yergin you should benefit from his perspective as he may give you new facts and/or a different perspective. I'm sure certain groups of readers such as peak oilers will disagree however. Highly recommended. Not as easy a read as the Prize... so I used a little p in my headline... still worthy of 5 stars however.
I think I need to reevaluate the papers I read or how I read them.
Must totally revamp my investment review / strategy sessions.
Had no idea this stuff was going on and as I look at the data to validate the story it all seems to fit.
Wow... awesomely eye opening.
Got a little tired of the story after a while printing printing printing. But the author really gives you the sense of what it was like to be a German at that time. Totally bewildered in a country that didn't seem to have a sense of what was going wrong. Its hard to fathom, but clearly the German people were "softened up" by this spectacular event. Is the author correct in his assertions toward the end that reparations were not responsible? Dunno that I trust the author given there wasn't much theory in this book. However, the author sticks to his guns and that is clearly very interesting. Also interesting in that most history books blame reparations but few clearly spell out that reparations were due in gold notes. Most modern day economists would say printing is not a way to get out of gold payments. And that might be true, but the author seems pretty convincing that the Germans weren't attempting that folly.
Had the author introduced a much higher degree of economic analysis, I feel that the emotional impact would have been far less. Its kind of like reading Dickens and then complaining you didn't get any Malthus in the text. This book if you really stay with it can really bring home the emotional impact of what it was like to be a German pre-Hitler. Had the author delved into how Hitler comes to power and/or the economic theories behind the printing of money and the gold based reparations payments, the emotional impact would have been lost.
I give it five stars... to stay disciplined with such a subject... to write what had to be written knowing full well you would only be a part piece of the puzzle... thats a thing we don't get from authors very much these days. Thanks to the authors. If the author is correct about the last part (I just don't know that much about the history of those times)... wow... just wow... very illuminating. He doesn't really provide alot of justification for the claims at the end just sort of lays them out there. To understand all of that and not change the scope is a gift to the reader. So my long winded advice is to appreciate the narrow scope, appreciate the seemingly endless monetary printing, and let wash over you what it means to sing "Deutschland Uber-alles" pre-Hitler. Getting transported back in time is priceless.
I purchased this book because I saw Chrystia doing an interview about the topic. Starts with a survey of plutocrats in the past to establish a basis for comparison but quickly devolves into an apologist's vantage of plutocrats and oligarchs, a trend that continues past half the book. I was a bit discouraged with the tone, but I decided to finish it. She finally returned to the tone I expected, albeit more politically correct and nuanced treatment than I would have liked.
As I listened to the audiobook version, I'll mention that the narrator did a good job reading the material, notwithstanding the mispronunciation of several words, most notably "specious" and employing the rendering of "conservatorship" with a long A vowel sound; this, whilst technically correct is awkward and uncommon, so perhaps an overly pedantic choice over the more typical pronunciation with a short A or schwa sound."