I didn t understand how the narrative moved from one chapter to the next and one section to the next BUT as a series of profiles one chapter to the next and one section to the next BUT as a series of profiles a very re Well written inside view of the crazy side of American capitalism Rao introduces a rogues gallery of characters along with hard working folks focused on trying to get ahead she covers the full arc of the Bakken from beginning of the boom to bust to semi settled I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review From the publisher The story of the twenty first century gold rush to the gas and oil fields of North Dakota and of the migrants criminals and oil barons willing to do whatever it takes to cash inThe word was that you could earn 17000 a month in the Bakken Oil Field of North Dakota So they flooded in the pioneers outcasts dreamers failures drifters deadbeats profiteers and felons And so did Maya Rao a ournalist from neighboring Minnesota who in 2015 embedded herself in the surreal new American frontierWith an eye for the dark humorous and absurd Rao set out in steel toe boots to chronicle the largest oil boom since the 1968 discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay Alaska reporting from truck stops oil tanks and North Dakota barsPart Barbara Ehrenreich part Upton Sinclair this is an on the ground narrative of capitalism and industrialization as a rural insular community transformed into a colony of outsiders hustling for profit a sobering exploration of twenty first century America that reads like a frontier novelI have family that moved to North Dakota in search of the dream much like those who went to the Yukon Goldrush and the Goldrush in California all hoping to become millionbillionaires ust like that family in the awful TV show Oil The oil is there as is everyone trying to make money off of the workers many live in drafty cold FEMA like trailers and are bombarded with high prices everywhere around them from everything to the grocery store to the prostitutes BUT THEY CAN AFFORD IT This is not new news ust ask anyone who lives in Fort McMurray Alberta Canada and has these problems around them young men making money hand over fist and very little to do but drink and watch strippers there to make THEIR fortune Greed is not always good and Maya Rao the author brings that out in a wonderfully written book that at times made me shake my head and wonder if it was actually a novel I was reading Five stars for sure Note I received an advanced electronic copy of this book courtesy of NetGalleyRents for apartments on par with San Francisco out in the far northwest of Dakota A local minimum wage needs to be at least 14 to keep up with the amount of money that is flowing #around People who arrive from around the country with little the shirts on their backs uickly finding obs that let #People who arrive from the country with little than the shirts on their backs uickly finding obs that let make six figures yet forced to live in vans or in crowded apartments a la freshly graduated college students Conmen of all shapes and sizes converging together into some of the northernmost reaches of the upper midwest to carry out scams of all sorts in order to try and get a piece of the pieThese are only a few examples from a world of literally life threatening daily work cutthroat greed rural communities in chaos wild breakneck boom and heartbreaking bust that are so thoroughly documented in this work by Maya Rao At one point a man under investigation from the SEC a woman soon to be busted for a multi state drug ring and a man wrapped up in a massive waste dumping scandal are all eating dinner together at a party in a swanky new housing development Yet because Rao s documentation of all the absurdities of life around the Bakken Formation at the the height of the rush is so thorough this scene doesn t feel even half as outrageous in the context of the book as it sounds here Great American Outpost is a magnificent work of modern day ournalistic writing that is exhaustive in coverage of its topic Thanks to Rao s hard work you are going to be incredibly hard pressed to find a intimate look at life in the oil fields of North Dakot. 0 shots of cognac as authorities started to catch on that his housing developments were part of a worldwide Ponzi schemePart Barbara Ehrenreich part Upton Sinclair this is an on the ground narrative of capitalism and industrialization as a rural insular community transformed into a colony of outsiders hustling for profit a sobering exploration of twenty first century America that reads like a frontier nov. As someone who worked in the energy industry for than 40 years I was immediately drawn to Maya Rao s Great American Outpost I missed out on seeing the Bakkan Play explosion in North Dakota but heard many tales over the years about what life was like up there during the boom years the years when the state was almost overrun by oil company personnel and their subcontractors plus every shyster con man and ex con who could
find his way there Having witnessed firsthand what it is like when multiple oil companies descend upon an area to get his way there Having witnessed firsthand what it is like when multiple oil companies descend upon an area to get leases signed before the competition can get it done my automatic sympathies were with the landowners and longtime residents of that part of the state And from what Rao has to say in her book those sympathies were well placedThe energy industry is one of periodic boom or bust with everything based on the commodity pricing of crude oil itself Because it is difficult to predict a drop in crude prices oil companies rush to make their money while prices support drilling costs plus some profit Service companies including every existing business in that part of North Dakota double and triple prices in order to get their own piece of the pie Then when the bottom drops out of pricing again the mess is too often left for others to clean upstate and Federal money has to be spentAnyone wondering what a modern gold rush would be like needs to read Great American Outpost As the book s subtitle says it is an account of dreamers mavericks and the making of an oil frontier The book s glaring weakness in my opinion is that Rao ends it rather abruptly instead of detailing her own re entry into the normal world as well as others she features in the book handled it The Great American Outpost is a scattershot memoir of the North Dakota fracking oil boom and its impact on local residentsIn 2011 the first horizontal fracking oil well was drilled in North Dakota What followed totally changed the laid back farming vibe of the state Out of state workers flooded the area in search of unskilled and truck driving obs paying upwards of 150000 a year Many were criminals drunks andor avoiding their child support orders The ails were so full they had to take criminals to Montana to house them With so many large trucks on the road locals were dying regularly in traffic accidents Enterprising locals upped their food prices over 100% Housing was scarce One English con man scammed international investors with a resident hotel Ponzi schemeWhile somewhat interesting the Great American Outpost didn t hold my interest throughout It needed some editing to mine a coherent plot from its episodic stories of North Dakota s oil rush 3 starsThanks to the publisher Public AffairsPerseus Books and NetGalley for an advanced copy I ve spent almost my entire life in southwestern North Dakota only a few hours away from the epicenter of the recent oil boom in the Bakken And even down here on the fringes of the boom it s hard to believe how much has changed in such a short period of time Maya Rao spent two years in the Bakken investigating these changes talking to farmers and ranchers oil workers from around the world oil executives and government officials Rao has written a book that brings to light how complicated this boom has been for everyone involved while keeping an open mind and remaining neutral The boom was romanticized then villainized by everyone who has survived it depending on which side you re on of course Rao is unbiased in her reporting of the issues making this a perfect read for anyone who is interested in learning what life was and is really like in the Bakken As someone who lives on the very edge of the oil activity it gave me a much clear idea of what happened during the boombust to my neighbors to the North It s not as clear cut as some would happened during the boombust to my neighbors to the North It s not as clear cut as some would and
Rao Does An Excellent Job does an excellent ob both sides of the story This is a great book for anyone who is interested in learning about the largest oil boom in modern history told by the people who lived itThank you to NetGalley for an advance copy of this. The story of a twenty first century American frontier–where the free market reigns supreme as profiteers rush to develop a massive new oilfieldThe word was that you could earn 17000 a month in the Bakken Oilfield of North Dakota So they flooded in the profiteers deadbeats ex cons dreamers and doers And so too did Maya Rao a ournalist who embedded herself in the surreal new American frontierWith an eye.
read & download Great American OutpostBook In this stunning masterpiece debut Great American Outpost Dreamers Mavericks and The Making of an Oil Frontier author ournalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune Maya Rao tells the extraordinary story of the North Dakota Bakken Oil Boom 2010 2015 that centered in the city of Williston ND At the peak of the boom the area filled with thousands of new arrivals and has often been compared to the 1849 San Francisco Gold Rush The Dakota Badlands In The Bakken Formation Contain Rush The Dakota badlands in the Bakken formation contain largest oil reserves in the US after TexasWith the price of oil selling for 10000 a barrel oil fracking was used to extract oil from the bowels of the earth each frack was serviced by one to f This was fascinating Maya Rao embeds in the Bakken from 2014 2016 to report on the oil boom She befriends everyone from truck drivers oil rig workers oil executives and shady businessmen Everyone looking to strike it rich She documents the rise and fall of the oil industry as only an insider can People who arrived early to the boom were able to get astronomical salaries only to lose it all a short while later She has a great talent for telling their stories and making the reader understand their side of things It was amazing to me the things she was able to get people to talk about Definitely a worthwhile read Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC for review I moved to North Dakota in 2016 ust as Rao was leaving Oil prices were at historic lows and the DAPL protests were at their apex The streets were running with Hollywood celebrities and unwashed students from Santa Cruz and Oberlin It was a weird time to move there I guess any time is a weird time to move there but it was a particularly weird time I lived there for 2 years and am in NYC now I think this would have
a subject grabbed me regardless but my time in the state and my intimate familiarity with the fallout from the oil boom made it extra compelling Rao did her work really good information gathering It was stupid work honestly she is lucky she was not raped or killed or sold into white slavery It happened a lot during the boom mostly to Native American women but not exclusively Rao barely mentions any of that The problem is that the story had no point *of view no through line no moral to the story It was an organizational nightmare and bounced from topic to *view no through line no moral to the story It was an organizational nightmare and bounced from topic to like a 10 year old off his Adderall Because it was so disjointed and perhaps because she chose as the only constant character Danny a guy who was dull and irresponsible and most definitely no genius there was nothing to connect with I found my interest wandering with some freuency and found a number of times I had to go back because I had no idea what had ust happened This reporting in a heavily edited form would have made a great series of articles but it did not make a book A book needs something to hold it together I also suspect that Rao saw these people as her friends I imagine that it is hard to stay objective when you have lived together through the hardships and hazards they did Its an issue I have always had with embedded reporters during wartime Though she mentions offhand that these people might have been sex offenders or con men its often in a whisper she focuses on the good That is what friends do For reporters though that is where you lose the story I admire Rao s grit but I really wish this book had been better I really wanted to love this book because the subject matter is so interesting the oil boom in North Dakota and the inevitable risefall cycle brought about by unchecked capitalism The author Maya Rao clearly immersed herself in the environment What works really well in this book is how atmospheric it is Her writing soars when she is describing the people and places of the Bakken oil field But there isn t enough context It s never really made clear why she was reporting on the oil boom Like she was Venous Catheters just there There were so many strange asides and observations that didn t uite make sense The book as a whole didn t have a cohesive narrative beyond the rise and fall of the oil boom. For the dark humorous and absurd Rao set out in steel toed boots to chronicle the largest oil boom since the 1968 discovery of oil in Prudhoe Bay Alaska Businessmen turned up to restart their careers after bankruptcy or fraud allegations from the financial crisis An ex con found his niche as a YouTube celebrity exposing the underside of oilfield life A high rolling Englishman blew investors’ money on 40.been a subject