If you’ve ever wondered why all the angry political rhetoric about high gasoline prices has so little effect when you’re paying around $4 a gallon, give a read to Steve Coll’s incredibly well-researched book, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power. At numerous points in the 685-page exposé of the largest U.S. energy company, Coll makes clear how ExxonMobil puts its interests behind no others, including those of the American public.

“I’m not a U.S. company and I don’t make decisions based on what’s good for the U.S.,” former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond says.