Sellout

  • by Victoria Bruce
  • Narrated by Tom Parks
  • 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The story of one citizen's fight to preserve a US stake in the future of clean energy and the elements essential to high-tech industries and national defense.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great book!

Jim Kennedy is trying to protect the U.S. The author did a great job documenting his struggle. I thought the person reading the book did a wonderful job making it very easy to listen to the story.
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- R. Todaro

Rare Earths--It's Worse Than Suspected

If you could sum up Sellout in three words, what would they be?

Fools, idiots, traitors


What other book might you compare Sellout to and why?

Stonewalled by Sharryl Attkisson for both the title and content, but I do not remember any of the numerous nonfiction books causing goosebumps on my neck so many times--not even WWII stories about spies, resistance fighters, or escapes.


Which character – as performed by Tom Parks – was your favorite?

All characters were appropriately conveyed, certainly Mr. Parks has a good voice and pace.


What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The close connection of thorium with the areas where rare earth elements can be found or their association with the magnetite deposit in Missouri.


Any additional comments?

Victoria Bruce must be commended for bringing the serious national security and energy development issue to general reader. While I have wondered how or why China was allowed to wrap up the source and serious amount of the rare earth supplies, the extent that the supply affects where products are manufactured is beyond what I thought it was. Learning that thorium relates to a nuclear energy technology that has virtually been turned over to China is amazing. It was helpful to remind the reader of the energy development Germany used to substitute coal for oil during WWII. [It seemed like Japan had a control over rubber sources but was probably short on iron ore or salvage material.]

It is good to know that there are men out there like Jim Kennedy who are trying to get the attention of people in Washington, DC, even if no one is willing to take action. What is described in this book is an extremely serious situation for national security, industry and commerce, energy, communications, space applications, probably medical equipment, and more. Sure seems like the people who have been authorizing sales or transfers to China (even the uranium transfer to Russia) makes me wonder who is really minding the store and the book sure has me worried.

Excellent book. Everyone should read this. Many thanks to the author and the men who are working so hard.

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- deb

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-06-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios