The Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2012

Overview

The year’s winner of the “The FT and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2012” is Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power by Steve Coll.

In Private Empire, Steve Coll, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and author of Ghost Wars and The Bin Ladens, investigates the notoriously mysterious ExxonMobil Corporation and the secrets of the oil industry

In many of the nations where it operates, ExxonMobil has a greater sway than that of the US embassy, its annual revenues are larger than the total economic activity in most countries and in Washington it spends more on lobbying than any other corporation. Yet despite its outsized influence, it is to outsiders a black box.

Private Empire begins with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and closes with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Steve Coll’s narrative spans the globe, taking readers to Moscow, impoverished African capitals, Indonesia and elsewhere as ExxonMobil carries out its activities against a backdrop of blackmail threats, kidnapping, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin. In the US, Coll goes inside ExxonMobil’s ruthless Washington lobbying offices and its corporate headquarters in Irving, Texas, where top executives oversee a bizarre corporate culture of discipline and secrecy.

Private Empire is the masterful result of Steve Coll’s indefatigable reporting, from the halls of Congress to the oil-laden swamps of the Niger Delta; previously classified U.S. documents; heretofore unexamined court records; and many other sources.

You can read the full article from Financial Times here.

For your interest, you can reserve this book and the other five books on the shortlist at the library.