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American technological prowess used to be unrivaled. But because of globalization, and with the blessing of the US government, once proprietary materials, components, and technologies are increasingly commercialized outside the United States. Nowhere is this more dangerous than in China's monopoly of rare earth elements - materials that are essential for nearly all modern consumer goods, gadgets, and weapons systems.
Jim Kennedy is a retired securities portfolio manager who bought a bankrupt mining operation. The mine was rich in rare earth elements, but he soon discovered that China owned the entire global supply and manufacturing chain. Worse, no one in the federal government cared. Dismayed by this discovery, Jim made a plan to restore America's rare earth industry. His plan also allowed technology companies to manufacture rare earth-dependent technologies in the United States again and develop safe, clean nuclear energy. For years Jim lobbied Congress, the Pentagon, and the White House Office of Science and Technology and traveled the globe to gain support. Exhausted, down hundreds of thousands of dollars, and with his wife at her wits' end, at the start of 2017 Jim sat on the edge of victory, held his breath, and bet it all that his government would finally do the right thing.
Like Beth Macy's Factory Man, this is the story of one man's efforts to stem the dehumanizing tide of globalization and Washington's reckless inaction. Jim's is a fight we need to join.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Ben DeNardo on 08-24-17
Uncovering unsung heroes of modern America
Would you listen to Sellout again? Why?
Absolutely this book contains so much information and so many different stories that all come together very well to tell the story of how China used the greed of the United States to slingshot forward in technological advancement.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Jim Kennedy's story is extremely compelling and it really shows how much one's life can change and his disappointment in his government and his continued efforts to help bring prosperity and security to his country.
Have you listened to any of Tom Parks’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have not
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Seeing the transformation of Jim Kennedy and how he was able to rise above his difficult upbringing to succeed where many others would have given up.
Any additional comments?
This book is one of the best in telling the complex history of Rare Earth elements and China's technological rise. This seems like one of the issues that effects most people without them ever hearing about it. It also does a great job of introducing the history of Thorium energy and the quest of a few to bring this important issue back to relevance.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By hjo on 06-29-18
i knew there was a problem but i only knew about the surface layers. this book helped to peal back the veil. victoria and toms investigations and reporting are amazing. i hope with my whlle heart that we will finally get out from under chinas master plan.