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May 04, 2012 9:56 AM Explaining the ExxonMobil Empire

By Ed Kilgore

At Ten Miles Square today, Georgetown University’s Paul Pillar reviews Steve Coll’s new book, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power, a major study of the quintessential modern multinational corporation and its interaction with the United States government and national interests at home and abroad.

Coll’s book deploys classic old-school reporting to deal with a highly complex new type of corporation operating in a volatile and politically sensitive global energy market where its interests and that of usually-friendly U.S. diplomats sometimes overlap, but sometimes collide. Pillar provides a thorough tour of Coll’s investigations and findings, including those touching on ExxonMobil’s responsibility for the birth and growth of the now-rampant climate change denial industry. It’s a strong review of an important book. Check it out.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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