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The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World

Pulitzer Prize-winner Daniel Yergin demonstrates how the global quest for energy will reshape our world.

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The Quest:
Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World
By Daniel Yergin
Penguin Group
816 pp.

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What does an energy transition look like?

Energy historians and policy analysts have struggled with this question since the 1970s. Will we know when we are in a transition away from fossil fuels?

If a transition goes on for decades, what will be the final tipping point? Will it be a catastrophic event, such as the Macondo Blowout and Oil Spill, Hurricane Katrina, or the Fukushima nuclear problems in Japan? Maybe per-gallon gasoline prices rising above $5? Possibly a diplomatic conflict that escalates with nations going to war?

Or might that final push will come from a book? Not just any book, mind you. It would have to be a book by a particular author – not just any writer.

Daniel Yergin, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning “The Prize” (subsequently made into a PBS documentary series), may be that writer and The Quest – his latest work which presents readers with a portrait of our energy transition – may be that book. Yergin, Chairman of Cambridge Energy Associates, appears regularly on television (CNBC) and radio (NPR) as the leading analyst of the world’s energy markets – particularly petroleum. He personifies the emergence of the energy sector as a leading engine of the world economy.

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