The “best all-around book yet on fracking” (San Francisco Chronicle) from a Pulitzer Prize finalist: “Gold's work is a tour de force of contemporary journalism” (Booklist).
First invented in 1947, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has not only become a major source of energy, it is changing the way we use energy, and the energy we use. It is both a threat and a godsend for the environment, and it is leading the revival of manufacturing in the United States.
A definitive narrative history, The Boom follows the twists and turns in the development and adoption of this radical technology. It is a thrilling journey filled with colorful characters: the green-minded Texas oilman who created the first modern frack; a bare-knuckled Oklahoman natural gas empire-builder who gave the world an enormous new supply of energy and was brought down by his own success and excesses; an environmental leader whose embrace of fracking brought an end to his public career; and an aging fracking pioneer who is now trying to save the industry from itself.
A fascinating and exciting exploration of one of the most controversial and promising sources of energy, The Boom “brings new clarity to a subject awash in hype from all sides…a thoughtful, well-written, and carefully researched book that provides the best overview yet of the pros and cons of fracking. Gold quietly leads both supporters and critics of drilling to consider other views” (Associated Press).
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Russell Gold's 2014 book, The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World, is a gripping tale of adventure, ambition, science, and being in the right place, at the right time, with the right accidental technology. And much luck. Whatever side you are on in the oil shale and fracking debate, after reading Gold's tale, it is easy to see that the unlikely technology of hydraulic fracturing has extended the life of fossil fuels, just when it looked like renewables might get a foothold.
Gold is a masterful narrator and story teller. He stands aside, for the most part, and lets his cast of oil men, land owners, and financer characters speak for themselves. Yet, Gold does frame this epic story within his own. His parents, owners of a small Pennsylvania acreage, go to him for advice when they are offered an oil lease for their land. Like so many Americans, the drilling and fracking debate has brought the reality of our gluttonous fossil fuel...
Excellent and engaging reporting, a human part to all of the noise about hydraulic well fracturing from both the proponents and the opponents. If you think you hate "fracking" but you don't understand how the machines do the job, you should read this to understand the real risks that we should be worried about, and hint-hint it isn't "burning tap water"... If you think you love fracking, and want to follow Sara Palin's "Drill Baby Drill" advice, you should ready this understand the major economic and environmental issues created by the pell mell capital consumption rush started by Chesapeake Energy. The typical anti-carbon agenda is present but does not prevent the author from examining what effects the availability of cheap natural gas will do both in help and hinderance to the migration of American energy production to cleaner and better fuels than thermal-electic coal and diesel. This is the best honest reportage I've seen anywhere about the benefits...
As someone who has been working in the energy sector for more than 40 years, I am probably more familiar with the subject of drilling and fracking than the average citizen, but I still learned some things from Russell Gold's "The Boom." It is always healthy to look at an issue as sensitive as fracking from both points of view, and this is something that Gold does an admirable job of doing via this book.
The new fracking technology was originally intended to tap into the huge natural gas reserves that were until the last decade or so pretty much beyond the ability of contemporary drilling methods to recover. That technology has proved to be just as effective in the recovery of shale oil that had previously been way to expensive to recover and bring to market.
The question now is one of safety and environmental impact of the fracking techniques being used in so many thousands of wells each year. Economically, there is no doubt that fracking has had a...
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