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Windfall is the boldest profile of the world’s energy resources since Daniel Yergin’s The Quest, asserting that the new energy abundance—due to oil and gas resources once deemed too expensive—is transforming the geo-political order and is boosting American power.
“Riveting and comprehensive...a smart, deeply researched primer on the subject.” —The New York Times Book Review
As a new administration focuses on driving American energy production, O’Sullivan’s “refreshing and illuminating” (Foreign Policy) Windfall describes how new energy realities have profoundly affected the world of international relations and security. New technologies led to oversupplied oil markets and an emerging natural gas glut. This did more than drive down prices—it changed the structure of markets and altered the way many countries wield power and influence.
America’s new energy prowess has global implications. It transforms politics in Russia, Europe, China, and the Middle East. O’Sullivan considers the landscape, offering insights and presenting consequences for each region’s domestic stability as energy abundance upends traditional partnerships, creating opportunities for cooperation.
The advantages of this new abundance are greater than its downside for the US: it strengthens American hard and soft power. This is “a powerful argument for how America should capitalise on the ‘New Energy Abundance’” (The Financial Times) and an explanation of how new energy realities create a strategic environment to America’s advantage.
About the Author
Meghan L. O’Sullivan is the Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. She is also the Director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project, which explores the complex interaction between energy markets and international politics. Between 2004 and 2007, she was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan for the last two years of her tenure. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Windfall: The New Energy Abundance Upends Global Politics is her third book.
“Riveting and comprehensive. . . . a smart, deeply researched primer on the subject.”
— The New York Times Book Review
"A powerful argument for how America should capitalise on the 'New Energy Abundance'"
— Financial Times
“A trusty guide to all the ways in which energy (especially oil and natural gas) impacts international relations, for good and for bad. . . . Windfall is a refreshing and illuminating examination of one thing that’s going right.”
— Foreign Policy
“O’Sullivan describes and analyzes the economic and political impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The boom in oil and gas produced by fracking—the “windfall” of this informative book’s title—has placed a severe strain on Russia and the oil producing countries of the Middle East but has benefited China, European states, and especially the United States. O’Sullivan explores the possibility that the new abundance in energy might replace the risk of a U.S.-Chinese rivalry for scarce resources with the opportunity to establish a cooperative arrangement between the two countries that could produce stability in energy markets around the world.”
— Foreign Affairs
“Excellent . . . O’Sullivan makes a persuasive case that the geopolitical benefits of high levels of energy production are enormous.”
— Inside Higher Ed
“A wide-ranging and comprehensive view of what O’Sullivan calls America’s new ‘strategic boon’—the energy revolution. She shows how it is strengthening America’s economy and its position in the world, giving the U.S. new flexibility, and is also—no doubt to the surprise of some—helping improve America’s environment."
— Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Prize and The Quest
“Brilliant. A must read to understand America’s new energy fortunes. Access to massive oil and gas reserves at home provides the United States with added power and leverage, presenting new possibilities for cooperation and competition. Windfall unpacks these complexities with great clarity and insight.”
— Michèle Flournoy, CEO of the Center of New American Security and former Under Secretary of Defense
“A lucid and provocative look at the geopolitics of energy and the shifts and dislocations it is likely to produce.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Meghan O’Sullivan brings her extraordinary insight to explain how the American innovation and ingenuity behind the oil and gas boom has delivered strategic benefits to the United States – and changed the world in the process. For leaders in government and business affected by global trends, Windfall is a must-read.”
— Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc.
“In less than a decade, the energy world has turned upside down, from scarcity to abundance. Drawing on her practical experience and analytic acuity, Meghan O’Sullivan provides a convincing account of how the new energy world is transforming geopolitics and helping the United States. Windfall is a wonderfully readable book.”
— Joseph Nye, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, Emeritus
“O’Sullivan takes the significance of energy beyond the price of gas at the pump to explain how energy, technology, the environment, and politics drive foreign policy. She demystifies and shows a new map of power, molecular and political.”
— Robert B. Zoellick, Former President of the World Bank, US Trade Representative, and Deputy Secretary of State
“As a former policy maker and a scholar, Meghan O'Sullivan is well placed to issue this urgent and timely call to policymakers to embrace a new mindset. She offers a rich and sophisticated assessment of the consequences of today’s new energy realities not only for North America, but also for Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and China.”
— Nicholas Burns, Professor, Harvard University and former Under Secretary of State
"Windfall is a big idea book that offers a bold take on how energy markets shape politics and foreign policy. In this sophisticated but highly readable narrative, she challenges much of the conventional wisdom about the benefits of America’s energy boom to the United States.”
— Diana Farrell, CEO and President JP Morgan Institute and former Deputy Director of the National Economic Council