In this bold, new book, Harvard professor and former Washington policymaker Meghan L. O’Sullivan offers us a compelling, alternative explanation for why world events are unfolding as they are. Based on travel to over two dozen countries and hundreds of interviews, Windfall vividly portrays how energy is – and has been – a much more important driver of foreign affairs than so many other factors given much more attention. This book provides its readers a fascinating and forceful new lens through which to view both the past and the future.
O’Sullivan unpacks an energy world that is complex and technical in a way that will captivate both novice and expert readers. Telling stories about people and historical events, she explains the dynamics behind the dramatic energy revolution of the last decade and provides insights into where this on-going phenomenon is headed. Bringing together two worlds that are too rarely connected, O’Sullivan demonstrates how the move from global energy scarcity to energy abundance is shaping the interests and strategies of governments around the world.
The implications for the United States – the source of the technology and innovation that launched the energy revolution – are as profound as they will be surprising to many. From bolstering America’s economic prowess to offering the United States more options to lead internationally, recent energy developments are truly a boon to U.S. power. But America is not the only country or region transformed by the new energy abundance. O’Sullivan describes how Europe, Russia, China, and the Middle East also are grappling with the impact of a transformed energy landscape – and how these struggles have collectively reordered the way the world works.
O’Sullivan offers readers astute analysis and entertaining anecdotes. Drawing on her experience as a former policymaker, she also sounds an urgent call to Washington to embrace a fresh mindset, one which sees America’s energy situation as an asset, not a vulnerability. She provides a wide-ranging set of ideas to policymakers in the United States and elsewhere about how to capitalize on, or adapt to, the new energy realities.
In the words of former World Bank president Robert Zoellick, Windfall is “an insightful, modern companion to Dan Yergin’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Prize.” It unveils how energy abundance is transforming the fates and fortunes of the world’s most powerful countries and companies – making it a readable and engrossing guide for leaders in business and government who need to how, where, and why these new energy realities matter.