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The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Energy Revolution [Kindle Edition]

Gregory Zuckerman
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Praise for The Frackers

"Zuckerman’s fast-paced, densely interesting The Frackers is the first book to tell the stories of the obstinate, ravenous, methodical, sometimes rascally oil executives of the recent boom. By focusing on people instead of trends, it gets to the heart of why the United States is once again the largest supplier of oil and gas in the world."
—The New Republic
The Frackers, [Zuckerman’s] second book, is told with care and precision and a deep understanding of finance and corporate politics as well as oil and geology.”
— Bryan Burrough, The New York Times

“Fans of the lively, character-driven nonfiction of writers like Kurt Eichenwald and Ben Mezrich should welcome this book with open arms . . . A lively, exciting, and definitely thought-provoking book”

“A fascinating study of American entrepreneurial culture and the modern robber barons who succeeded in creating an energy revolution.”

“Lovers of business and capitalism will appreciate The Frackers, … Zuckerman has done valuable and timely reporting on the men and independent companies that created the shale boom.”
Associated Press
“Colorful …compelling account [of]  a revolution driven by stubborn entrepreneurs.”
“An interesting and first-rate narrative… a dramatic tale… The book may be the definitive story of the innovative men behind the most significant energy discovery of our time.”
Akron Beacon Journal

"Insightful...At times suspenseful...on-target in telling the tale of a group of wildcatters who risked almost everything and helped launch the United States on the path to energy independence."
Natural Gas Intelligence

“Too little attention has been paid to one of America's biggest economic and scientific revolution of recent decades: the tapping of abundant oil and natural gas reserves within our own borders using a technique called fracking. Wall Street Journal reporter Zuckerman…sets out to change that with his unique talent of translating complex aspects of finances and geology into prose that reads like a blockbuster thriller.”
 —Publishers Weekly (starred)
“Zuckerman details [the frackers’s] epic adventure with skill that makes it required reading for anyone looking to understand fundamental forces at work in our world today.”
 —Forbes “Best Books of 2013”

"A dynamic narrative... introduces us to the major players behind a boom."
San Antonio Express-News

“Greg Zuckerman tells the remarkable story of the larger than life entrepreneurs and deal makers behind this energy-industrial revolution. A great read, whether you are pro-fracking or against it.”
Matthew Bishop, US Business Editor at The Economist
“If you are looking for the present-day take on a romantic rag-to-riches drama reminiscent of the Gilded Age, engaging tales of brave entrepreneurs whose desire to get really wealthy helped them persevere and prosper come boom or bust, look no further than The Frackers."
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“Gregory Zuckerman tells the story of the shale revolution well. He has an eye for detail and a flair for narrative that makes it highly readable... This is a story of innovation as perspiration… It is a reminder that innovation is neither easy nor cheap nor inevitable”
The Times (UK)
"Greg Zuckerman's The Frackers will long be considered 'The Bible' on fracking and the history of drilling in the US and the wildcatting billionaires who were the main players. This incredibly thorough book explains, thrills, and has us on the edge of our seats all the way towards US energy independence." 
James Altucher, best-selling author, entrepreneur and blogger

Praise for The Greatest Trade Ever

“ Simply terrific. Easily the best of the post-crash financial books.”
—Malcolm Gladwell

“ Mr. Zuckerman is a first-rate reporter who is also able to explain the complexities of real estate finance in layman’s terms. At times, The Greatest Trade Ever reads like a thriller.”
—The New York Times

“ He’s written the definitive account of a strange and wonderful subplot of the financial crisis.”
—Michael Lewis

“ Possibly the greatest book to come out of the financial crisis of 2007–08, and it’s certainly up there in the top 3.”


The Frackers by Gregory Zuckerman, bestselling author of The Greatest Trade Ever, tells the untold story of the tycoons behind the US fracking controversy.

Things looked grim for American energy in 2006. Oil production was in steep decline and natural gas was hard to find. The Iraq War threatened the nation's already tenuous relations with the Middle East. China was rapidly industrializing and competing for resources. Major oil companies had just about given up on new discoveries on US soil, and a new energy crisis loomed.

But a handful of men believed everything was about to change.

By experimenting with hydraulic fracturing through extremely dense shale - a process now known as fracking - these 'wildcatters' started a revolution. In just a few years, they solved America's dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy - and made and lost astonishing fortunes.

The frackers have already transformed the eco¬nomic, environmental, and geopolitical course of history, and like the Rockefellers and the Gettys before them, they're using their wealth and power to influence politics, education, entertainment, sports, and many other fields. Activists argue that the same methods that are creating so much new energy are also harming our water supply and threatening environmental chaos.

Award-winning reporter Gregory Zuckerman gained exclusive access to the frackers, chronicling the untold story of how they transformed the nation and the world. The result is a dramatic narrative that stretches from the barren fields of North Dakota to the tense Wall Street boardrooms.

The Frackers also tells the story of the angry opposition unleashed by this revolution, and explores just how dangerous fracking really is.

Gregory Zuckerman is a special writer at The Wall Street Journal and the bestselling author of The Greatest Trade Ever. He is a two-time winner of the Gerald Loeb Award and a winner of the New York Press Club Journalism Award.


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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
5.0 von 5 Sternen Spannende Insid Story einer spannenden Industrie 30. Dezember 2014
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Das Buch erzählt die wahre Geschichte einer Handvoll Technikpioniere die den Öl-und Gasmarkt zunächst in den USA und damit auch auf der ganzen Welt veränderten. Dabei ist die Geschichte spannend wie ein Film. Es zeigt die persönliche Geschichte von Männern die sich gegen alle Wiederstände durchsetzten und unglaublichen geschäftlichen Erfolg erreichten dabei jedoch teilweise im persönlichen Leben große Niederlagen.
Deutlich wird aber auch wie sehr der Erfolg dieser Männer die globale Industrie veränderte und weiter verändern wird,. Das Buch ist auf Englisch und bisher nichts ins Deutsche übersetzt. Notwendig ist jedoch kein Fachenglisch um die Beschreibungen im Wesentlichen zu verstehen. Einzelne Wörter können mit einem Englisch Wörterbuch leicht erfasst werden.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  295 Rezensionen
46 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Remarkably detailed yet thoroughly readable 7. November 2013
Von david m feinman - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I had no idea "fracking" had its origins in the nineteenth century or that "moonlighting" came from the early practice of the clandestine use of explosives for drilling set off at night. More importantly to anyone who wants to understand the positives (cheap energy & domestic jobs) and the negatives (possible pollution & environmental risks) is the balanced way Greg Zuckerman explores the history, pros & cons of what is arguably the most important economic issue of the next ten years. He does a great job of profiling the early wildcatters looking for a new way to release energy from the bowels of the earth, capturing the romance and swashbuckling personalities of some of these larger than life characters. At the same time he understands and illustrates the financial side and implications of the actions taken by these companies as they morphed from tiny E&P outfits to energy behemoths risking billions of investor dollars. My favorite sections deal with Aubrey McClendon and the story of Chesapeake Energy and Charif Souki the founder of Cheniere Energy who has the audacity to conceive of the United States as an EXPORTER of natural gas and energy to the world a few short years after politicians and pundits decried American dependence on foreign energy imports.

It's a remarkable story told remarkably well. If you want to understand energy dynamics going forward in the 21st century, this is an incredibly useful guidebook.
32 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Live from the Permian Basin 3. Dezember 2013
Von Pendejo Grande - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Because I live in an oilfield community and because I don't rely on the oilfield to put food on the table, I found this book extremely interesting. I'm an educator who has at times supplemented my income by working summers and weekends in the oilfield. Since I had to have a Commercial Drivers Licence to drive a bus as a part of my real job, it wasn't much of a stretch to get a tractor/trailer and tanker endorsement and haul water into and out of the oilfield. I've even hauled water to frac jobs. I've hauled water away from frac jobs. Thankfully I wasn't around much during frac jobs as they are incredibly noisy. This gives me a little different perspective maybe than the avg reader.

I've heard of Chesapeake and Sandridge. Actually know some people who work for them. It was incredibly interesting to learn how those two companies came in to being. Judging from the book I'd say that Awbrey McClendon and Tom Ward are borderline crooked, but my limited experience in the oilfield tells me that that's pretty normal behavior at the top of the ladder. There couldn't be as many crooked people at the bottom of the ladder if it didn't get a little crooked as you went up. I've heard of EOG and XTO and Devon. I know some people who work for them as well, so it was interesting to see how they fit into the picture.

I would've liked to have been a fly on the wall when Harold Hamm met with Obama in the WH. I'd like to think that Obama wouldn't have the gall to tell Hamm, "You didn't build that." but I'd proably be wrong. Oil and Water to the extreme.

My only complaint about the book is that I think it's very difficult for east coast writers to fully understand Texas and Oklahoma culture. Zuckerman missed a few details that I caught, I'm sure there's more. He talks about a manager at Chevron being different from all the rest of the managers because he was an outsider. The guy in question started at Gulf which was acquired by Chevron in about '82 or so. That's like calling someone who was born in Alaska in '57 an outsider. Also, he referred to West Texas Intermediate as West Texas International. Kind of a glaring mistake for one of the world's two benchmark crudes. I coached across town from MOJO during the year that Buzz Bissinger spent in Odessa when he wrote "Friday Night Lights". I actually chatted him up at a New Year's eve party that year. For the most part, he got it all right. The book was factual. But he never really understood the culture of the community of Odessa. And because of that I feel like he misrepresented the community to a nationwide audience. The movie based on the book was a bad carricature. Based on the two errors noted above, I'm guessing that Zuckerman's book is pretty damned factual, but I have some doubts as to whether he can truly have the cultural understanding that it takes to completely close the deal. He may be misrepresenting the top end of the oil patch to his nationwide audience somewhat.
27 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book is funny, entertaining & detailed - basically another amazing book from Zuckerman. 5. November 2013
Von M. Pomada - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Much like 'The Greatest Trade Ever', this book is about bucking the odds, high risk/high return, near misses & making amazing breakthroughs. It's much more about the unique entrepreneurial people involved than it is about the science behind a process that is leading the US back to energy production self-sufficiency. The author is unparalleled at exploring these characters while weaving together the details of a very disparate, but wildly entertaining story about a group of people who essentially changed the world. One aspect I really enjoyed was the humor. There are laugh-out-loud moments in the book within the details of these compelling, quirky people. Hilarious. It keeps you hooked on the characters & is very compelling to read.
15 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Not a great book, but the best book on fracking (for now) 12. Januar 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
This is the best book for non-experts who want a good read about the world on fracking, at least until Russell's "The Boom" comes out. It is readable, clear, and tells a good story. Zuckerman ably weaves together multiple strands of a complex story, and his focus on the colorful personalities involved will keep you interested. At the same time, there are drawbacks to the book. Depending on what you are looking for, it may not be the book for you.

The Frackers is a group biography, the story of single group of people: Aubrey McClendon, Tom Ward, Mark Papa, Harold Hamm, and George Mitchell among others. Although it focuses on their time developing horizontal drilling, fracking, and improved methods of surveying for tight oil, the book also dwells on their biographies, from childhood onward. Zuckerman is careful not to become a mouthpiece for these men, but it is clear that his narrative is guided by their story as they want it told. This is their story, not fracking's story if you see what I mean.

As a result readers who are interested in the technology behind fracking, the geology associated with it, or the environmental controversies surrounding it will be disappointed with how little time these topics get. At times -- such as when Zuckerman explains that uranium is a fuel for nuclear power -- you feel like he isn't taking his audience seriously. It's simply not an overview of the entire field of fracking which, to be fair, it doesn't exactly claim to be.

At 400 pages, you get the feeling that Zuckerman can't resist a good story -- and there is more than one in here that could have been cut to make the book tighter and more focused. The result is prose that is occasionally repetitive and sometimes wanders off into tangents -- albeit interesting ones. The book is not weighed down by these excursions, but you do feel it is slightly plumper than it needs to be.

Zuckerman also crams too many stories into the book: the woman who moved to the oil boomtown, Sean Lenon's role in opposing fracking, Josh Fox's documentary "Gasland" -- the book would be better off cutting out these extraneous threads in the narrative, or else downplaying the biographies of the wildcatters and broadening itself out into a more general history of fracking. It feels like Zuckerman never quite made the hard choices he should have about the overall arc of the book. The epilogues, afterwards, and unimpressive concluding look at the future of shale exploration globally just add to this impression. To be fair, I suspect that this was because the book was hurried into print. And also, structuring a 400 page book is not easy!

There are other issues with the book. It is very lightly footnoted, and Zuckerman often makes claims like "most scientists agree..." without backing them up. The kindle version of the book does not have a table of contents that you can use to jump around between chapters. Maps, timelines, and other figures could have been included in the body of the book to help the reader along.

In sum, this is a readable history of part of the fracking story ably told by a journalist. It is great that it is available for the public, and I'd recomend it. But the more thorough, broad-based history that this era deserves has yet to be written.
22 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen controversial? 14. Dezember 2013
Von Thomas R. Moorer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Fracking was never controversial until the New York times started putting the two words together. At least they standardized the spelling of the process. Fracking is not new. It has been used for half a century and horizontal drilling for a few decades. The combining of the two techniques and advancement of the technology to multi-stage sequential fracking made it possible to make formerly uneconomic formations like shale productive. The author does a good job of following the careers of several key oilmen as the boom unfolded. As expected, there are some colorful characters in the oil "bidness." This is a perfectly good and informative book, but it is not "literary" (Only people like Michael Lewis and John McPhee can make literature out of practical topics) This book reads more like a very long magazine article. But if you are interested, this is a worthwhile read.
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