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Publisher's Summary

Windfall is the boldest profile of the world's energy resources since Daniel Yergin's The Quest. Harvard professor and former Washington policymaker Meghan L. O'Sullivan reveals how fears of energy scarcity have given way to the reality of energy abundance. This abundance is transforming the geo-political order and boosting American power.

As a new administration focuses on raising American energy production, O'Sullivan's Windfall describes how new energy realities have profoundly affected the world of international relations and security. New technologies led to oversupplied oil markets and an emerging natural gas glut. This did more than drive down prices. It changed the structure of markets and altered the way many countries wield power and influence.

America's new energy prowess has global implications. It transforms politics in Russia, Europe, China, and the Middle East. O'Sullivan explains the consequences for each region's domestic stability as energy abundance upends traditional partnerships and creates opportunities for cooperation.

The advantages of this new abundance is greater than its downside for the US: it strengthens American hard and soft power. This powerful book describes how new energy realities create a strategic environment to America's advantage.

Author bio: Meghan L. O'Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick professor of the practice of international affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She is also the director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project, which explores the complex interaction between energy markets and international politics. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy national security advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan for the last two years of her tenure. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Windfall: The New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics is her third book.

©2017 Meghan L. O'Sullivan (P)2017 Recorded Books

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Great subject, tedious text, mediocre performance

What did you like best about Windfall? What did you like least?

I studied oil and gas economics in two college electives in 1973. It's an amazingly fascinating subject that blends technology, political economy, and finance. I was looking forward to this book after seeing it reviewed in the NY Times, but found it merely adequate. The text is much longer than necessary. The repetitiveness of many concepts would be good for teaching a beginners' course but simply gets tedious. The reader (these credits are the first on an audiobook when I've heard one mentioned as "a member of SAG/AFTRA" ) has a schoolmarmish tone that seems detached from the content of the text.

Any additional comments?

Anytime I see a book about energy economics, I feel bound to read it. Windfall helped me think through how "the new energy abundance" might affect strategic calculations between world powers. But I honestly could not wait for it to end owing to the performance and the repetititveness. Also, I accept that the author worked for the GW Bush administration, but she never seems to confront the major issue of what it means for civilization when all the greenhouse gases are released from newly available oil and natural gas, including of course methane leaks.

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Meghan O'Sullivan is the next Daniel Yergin

What made the experience of listening to Windfall the most enjoyable?

Windfall is 2017 version of The Prize (by Daniel Yergin). a tour of energy from around the globe.