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The Eskimo and The Oil Man: The Battle at the Top of the World for America's Future
by Bob Reiss
The Arctic century is upon us. A great jockeying for power and influence has erupted among nations in the high north. At stake are trillions of dollars in profit or loss, US security, geopolitical influence and the fate of a fragile environment as well as the region's traditional people. As the ice melts and oil companies venture north, the polar regions may become the nex ...more
Published May 15th 2012 by Business Plus
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I'm fascinated by the subject matter and wanted to like this impressive-sounding book, but found the author's writing careless, digressive, disjointed, and didactic. It's like the man never met a direct quote or non-sequitur he didn't like. He also gets fuzzy on certain facts (the U.S. actually has three, not one, polar-class icebreakers), lets subject-verb disagreements slip through with inexcusable regularity, and, after several years among them, describes North Slope Alaska Natives as "Inupia ...more
A book that actually advocates that people on all sides of natural resource extraction and global warming issues in the Arctic, government, industry, Alaska Natives and environmentalists, stop yelling and start talking. Surprising, and refreshing.
Mar 29, 2014 Jon Box rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Great read on the North Slope of Alaska, the Arctic, and all the issues at stake (financial, US security, geopolitical influence and environmental aspects) barreling our way to affect every American. Bob Reiss provides a captivating, open-minded, and critical review of the impacts of a changing Arctic as well as outlining the need for a bold national strategy for America to realize the promise of this extraordinary frontier. He does this from a personal standpoint, capturing the mixed emotions o ...more
May 22, 2014 Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai rated it really liked it · review of another edition
I lived in Alaska during the time period this book was written and still didn't know a bunch of this. (My husband did, so maybe I just don't pay enough attention). I really enjoyed the perspective on both oil drilling, environmental issues, and global warning issues. The author tried very hard to be objective and for the most part succeeded. (There were maybe one too many quotes from Mead Treadwell, but that's a personal thing.) Highly recommended for anyone interested in oil/drilling/environmen ...more
Discusses the complexities of balancing interests on the north slope of Alaska near Barrow. Interested parties include native governments benefitting from oil revenues, native hunters, oil companies, environmental interests, federal regulatory agencies. Also emphasizes the US failure to adopt the Law of the Sea Treaty by which nations will stake claims to undersea territories in the Arctic Sea as the ice melts and makes mining and drilling more possible. The "Eskimo" is the native mayor of Barro ...more
Nowhere are the stakes of America's desperate addiction to oil, our inattention to the very real consequences of a changing climate, and the disastrous effect of our political polarization on both of those issues higher than on America's rapidly expanding arctic frontier. Reiss does a good job of laying out not just the challenges, but also the obstacles for a country that is losing not just vast expanses of ice, but is also in danger of losing any common ground. Whether you believe that the cha ...more
This is well written and very engaging. It hits on a theme for our country -- America's strength rests in compromise not in polarization. The focus on describing the tensions (and compromises) of energy, culture, and environment in the arctic is fantastic. I really had fun reading this book with so many names, people, and places that feel so familiar.
Not a pleasure read, but definitely worth reading. Author admits he changed his mind on oil exploration/drilling as a result of his research/writing of this book. Very eye-opening read about our failed policy making and the ineffectiveness of governmental agencies.
Bob Reiss (born 1951) is an American author of nonfiction and fiction books. Reiss, who also writes under the pen-names of Scott Canterbury, Ethan Black, and James Abel, has written more than a dozen books, including Purgatory Road, a murder mystery set in Antarctica, The Road to Extrema, a study of the destruction of Brazilian rain forests, and The Coming Storm, which focuses on global warming an ...moreMore about Bob Reiss...