Selected by The New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of the Year
In this gripping account of the quest for the energy that our world needs, Daniel Yergin continues the riveting story begun in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Prize. A master storyteller as well as a leading energy expert, Yergin shows us how energy is an engine of global political and economic change. It is a story that spans the energies on which our civilization has been built and the new energies that are competing to replace them. From the jammed streets of Beijing to the shores of the Caspian Sea, from the conflicts in the Mideast to Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley, Yergin takes us into the decisions that are shaping our future.
The drama of oil-the struggle for access, the battle for control, the insecurity of supply, the consequences of use, its impact on the global economy, and the geopolitics that dominate it-continues to profoundly affect our world.. Yergin tells the inside stories of the oil market and the surge in oil prices, the race to control the resources of the former Soviet empire, and the massive mergers that transformed the landscape of world oil. He tackles the toughest questions: Will we run out of oil? Are China and the United States destined to come into conflict over oil? How will a turbulent Middle East affect the future of oil supply?
Yergin also reveals the surprising and sometimes tumultuous history of nuclear and coal, electricity, and the "shale gale" of natural gas, and how each fits into the larger marketplace. He brings climate change into unique perspective by offering an unprecedented history of how the field of climate study went from the concern of a handful of nineteenth- century scientists preoccupied with a new Ice Age into one of the most significant issues of our times.
He leads us through the rebirth of renewable energies and explores the distinctive stories of wind, solar, and biofuels. He offers a perspective on the return of the electric car, which some are betting will be necessary for a growing global economy.
The Quest presents an extraordinary range of characters and dramatic stories that illustrate the principles that will shape a robust and flexible energy security system for the decades to come. Energy is humbling in its scope, but our future requires that we deeply understand this global quest that is truly reshaping our world.
“Mr Yergin’s previous book, The Prize, a history of the global oil industry, had the advantage of an epic tale and wondrous timing… The Quest, as its more open-ended title suggests, is a broader and more ambitious endeavour… The Quest is a masterly piece of work and, as a comprehensive guide to the world’s great energy needs and dilemmas, it will be hard to beat.”
– THE ECONOMIST
“It is a cause for celebration that Yergin has returned with his perspective on a very different landscape… [I]t is impossible to think of a better introduction to the essentials of energy in the 21st century. In Yergin’s lucid, easy prose, the 800 pages flow freely… The Quest is… the definitive guide to how we got here.”
– THE FINANCIAL TIMES
“The Quest is a book—a tour de force, really—that evaluates the alternatives to oil so broadly and deeply that the physical tome could double as a doorstop… It is best read slowly, perhaps one chapter per day maximum, if the goal is to actually absorb the rich detail and sometimes complicated workings described by Yergin.”
– USA TODAY
“The book then takes us on an exploration of the energy industry and its history, touching down in so many remote corners of the globe, filled with such a huge cast of sinister business magnates, visionary scientists, political scoundrels and con men that it sometimes reads like a novel.”
– LOS ANGELES TIMES
"The Quest superbly captures the great questions of energy and security that face our nation in this risky world. Daniel Yergin identifies the key issues, demonstrates their urgency, and lays out the choices. He does so with such deep expertise and with such vivid narrative writing as to make this book both important and compelling. It can help us see our way to a safer and sounder energy future."
– Senator Richard Lugar, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
"This fascinating saga is the definitive book on the most important of global issues, the quest for sustainable sources of energy. Dan Yergin, the prominent energy expert of our times, weaves together security and environmental concerns to explain the system we have toady and to analyze the sensible paths forward. This is one book you must read to understand the future of our economy and our way of life."
– Walter Isaacson, author of STEVE JOBS and EINSTEIN
"The Quest by Daniel Yergin, one of the world’s most experienced and influential authorities on global energy, may well become the definitive work on the science, history, and economics of this most complex and important subject. This masterful and illuminating book on one of the most vital issues of our time, one that will powerfully influence international politics, economics, and nations worldwide, should be essential reading for policymakers everywhere."
– -Dr. Henry Kissinger, author of ON CHINA
"In the magisterial style of his earlier global narrative of energy politics, The Prize, Daniel Yergin has again delivered a sweeping, authoritative account of the science, economics, and geopolitics of energy. His writing, as ever, is clear and intelligent, and his subject could hardly be timelier."
– -Steve Coll, author of THE BIN LADENS and GHOST WARS
“Mr. Yergin is back with a sequel to The Prize. It is called The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, and, if anything, it’s an even better book. It is searching, impartial and alarmingly up to date… The Quest will be necessary reading for C.E.O.’s, conservationists, lawmakers, generals, spies, tech geeks, thriller writers, ambitious terrorists and many others… The Quest is encyclopedic in its ambitions; it resists easy synopsis.”
– Dwight Garner, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“[A] sprawling story richly textured with original material, quirky details and amusing anecdotes… The tale is generously sprinkled with facts debunking common misperceptions, and Mr. Yergin sagely analyzes how well the energy industry really works.”
– THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“[An] important book… a valuable primer on the basic issues that define energy today. Yergin is careful in his analysis and never polemical… Despite that, The Quest makes it clear that energy policy is not on the right course anywhere in the world and that everyone—on the left and the right, in the developed and the developing world—need to rethink strongly held positions.”
– Fareed Zakaria, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW