The Profiteers by Sally Denton

The Profiteers

From the bestselling coauthor of The Money and the Power (which the Los Angeles Times called “one of the most important nonfiction books published in a half century”)—the inside story of the Bechtel family and the empire they’ve controlled since the construction of the Hoover Dam.The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed th...

Details The Profiteers

TitleThe Profiteers
Release DateMar 1st, 2016
PublisherSimon Schuster
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Business, Politics

Reviews The Profiteers

  • Jason
    "Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance Team America, and then Team America goes out... and the corporations sit there in their... in their corporation buildings, and... and, and see, they're all corporation-y... and they make money." --creepy Tim Robbins puppet (Team America: World Police)It's tempting to laugh at the cliché of progressive antigovernment rhetoric: "It's all about the corporations, man, and the o...
  • Lori L (She Treads Softly)
    The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World by Sally Denton is a highly recommended corporate/social/political account of the start and the growth of the global megacompany the Bechtel Corporation.This is a biography of the privately owned Bechtel Company and the family who founded it. Originally founded in 1898 "Bechtel grew from a scrappy Nevada road-grading operation at the dawn of the twentieth century to the world's largest const...
  • Olivia
    This is the kind of journalism that turns people away from investigative journalism. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a few quick numbers: on Goodreads on 212 people rated this book and only 37 took the time to review. 311 heavy pages alleging some of the most wide-scale cronyism in American history and only about 250 people made it known that they read this book. Let’s start at the beginning. Have you heard of the Bechtel Corporation? Me ne...
  • Bill
    I saw this at my local library and broke my imposed rule of not checking out books (i have a long standing habit of forgetting to return them). This is a workmanlike accounting of a highly secretive company. It is of interest to me because I worked for this outfit for almost ten years. That equates to about 50 years of working at a normal company. They paid me overtime, and I made enough to buy my first house, so I owe them that much.Bechtel is a...
  • Amanda
    Look, Kylie was not wrong when she said this was the year of Realizing Things. Maybe I'm naive, but I was surprised by the extent of cronyism Denton alleges, and frankly a little impressed by Bechtel's boldness. Good fodder for future arguments with my libertarian friends
  • Mal Warwick
    When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote “the very rich are different from you and me,” he was referring to their attitudes and beliefs, not to the way they conduct themselves in business or politics. But he might very well have gone on to observe that great wealth carries with it considerable power that enables the very rich to have their way no matter how badly they act. In The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World, Sally Denton illustr...
  • Holly
    This should be read in tandem with Jane Mayer's Dark Money. Great journalists (who happen to be women) reveal bad men and their power in US history.
  • Anno Nomius
    Read this book with an open mind, once you have done that share this book with a friend and ask that friend to share it too. I hope this book is read by many, many people, many, many fellow Americans and hopefully somebody would be moved to take action to stop corporations like Bechtel screwing with American tax dollars. This book touched me at so many levels it is hard to say that one thing that I took away after reading this book but if you are...
  • Aileen Swenson
    This book was infuriating. I feel like my eyes have opened to how the American economy, foreign policy, and government contracts really work. Also, how rich, powerful insiders have a disgustingly strong influence on government decisions. (Decisions which benefit those insiders.)Ugh, how depressing, but oh, how necessary a read this book is!
  • Robert Daniel
    Fascinating. Who knew of all the linkages between politicians and this company. The names cited, the dollar values. The action behind the scenes. The book opens and concludes with discussions about Jonathan Pollard. You will have to read the book to find out as the author weaves a riveting narrative linking Bechtel with the leadership in the White House, CIA and Department of Defense. The names and facts include: Iraq, Saddam Hussein, Saudi Arabi...
  • Alyce
    THE PROFITEERS: BECHTEL AND THE MEN WHO BUILT THE WORLD by Sally Denton is an incredibly well researched account of the birth and growth of the global nation building company, Bechtel Corporation.Bechtel Company is still privately owned and over 115 years old. Ms. Denton chronicles the history and development of the company from a small road grading company in Nevada that was founded by "Pa" Bechtel in 1898 to one of the world's largest construct...
  • Cami
    Infuriating. Name a big infrastructure or recovery project and Bechtel, the largest government contractor in the world, was involved. The Hoover Dam, San Francisco's BART, the Big Dig, FEMA trailers for Katrina recovery, the expanse of solar panels on I-15 in Mohave desert are all Bechtel projects mostly awarded via political cronyism. This is an important book, but not necessarily an enjoyable read. It becomes repetitive: Bechtel employee is app...
  • Darren
    A fascinating, eye-opening and inspiring book that looks at the history of Bechtel, a massive American company that has managed to spread its tentacles firmly around the world, constructing some of the largest, most-impressive buildings and facilities in the process.An American success story, built from humble beginnings and kept in the family, and the author promises the inside story and the real scoop of this mega-empire that became one of the ...
  • Deidre
    Books about giant private companies aren't generally page turners but Sally Denton's well-researched profile of the Bechtel company is fascinating and riveting. The chapters are short, each delineating the ways that Bechtel has move inside and outside of the U.S. government and other governments around the world to continue growing and adding profits to their bottom line. What's fascinating about this book is the way Denton showed how in many way...
  • Daniel
    I've enjoyed Denton before, and this book was eye opening in the thorough manner she documents Bechtel's amazing penchant for winning government contracts. However, Denton throws a couple punches that don't land, and the book falters for them. In particular, she seems to see a connection between Bechtel and the Iran-Contra Affair. After several re-readings of the chapter, I am no closer to understanding what that connection is. Also, her drive to...
  • Charles
    Finding conspiracies to sell booksPeople like to read about conspiracies, so such books sell. And where better to build a conspiracy theory than by examining a privately held company that doesn’t have the same disclosure requirements as a public company and whose clients are governments around the world?I chose this book because I knew very little about Bechtel, except that was involved in the construction of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado Rive...
  • Janet
    I recently read an article entitled “General Assembly Members Share Gratitude With Students at Catawba Valley Community College.” This partnership was established between the state government and the Catawba Valley Furniture Academy to build fifty love seats for the North Carolina capital building. These pieces will replace furniture from 1963. Amazingly, each piece only costs $250. What an opportunity for these students to put on their resum...
  • Dina
    “The Bechtel story is most important for how the company embodied the rise of a corporate capitalism forged in the American West that over the decades took the world by storm—a capitalism much more in line with cronyism than free market ideology. Bechtel pioneered the revolving door system that now pervades both US politics and the American economic system—a door that came to shape foreign policy not always in the interest of the nation and...
  • Richard
    This book was an investigative Journalist's insight on the Bechtel Group. The history of their founders and its succession through history. The author went the extra mile on sourcing documents from various repositories. A good mix of press releases and Historical data, contracts, interviews, state of addresses and legal cases. Direct quotes from archived sources were laid out plentifully around the text. All evidence to unmask the allegations aga...
  • Kent Johnson
    Evidently Bechtel never built a single "good" project. At least when an author takes the position that they are crooks which morphs into once a crook always a crook then Bechtel can never have assumed the risk to build a worthy project. But since I don't believe the author understands the construction industry and the relationship between risk the owner asks a contractor to take, and profit, that should probably be expected. Also, who are all the...
  • Lorinda Toledo
    “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.” -Dwight D. Eisenhower. Sally Denton's masterful book, The Profiteers, shows how this happens, and who is getting...
  • Hillary
    i really enjoyed the first half of this book, but once it reached the mid-70s in timeline, i lost interest. maybe this is because i don't have a background in middle eastern oil deals or a good awareness of the geopolitics in that part of the world at that time, but i really was having difficulty keeping track of names, places, and deals that were taking place.
  • Matt Heavner
    Definitely a look at Bechtel from one perspective, but even given that, a good look at a secretive family/company that has taken lots of public money and profited greatly. I was aware of some of what Bechtel does, but this book was very eye-opening. I was really surprised about the Iran-Contra / Israel, and Middle-East aspects. Overall, a great and eye-opening read.
  • Craig Earnshaw
    Depressing story, well told, this partly explains the pathetic results of the first Pentagon audit, finally released in Nov 2018, the Pentagon failed badly and worse, the audit itself cost $400 million
  • Edward Sullivan
    A revealing, disturbing portrait of the secretive, sinister international conglomerate that profits handsomely from its dominating role in the military-industrial complex, the exploitation of natural resources, and the privatization of nuclear weapons production and management.
  • Chris Csergei
    More like a 2.5 stars. Plenty of information, but seemed to be all over the place and did not bridge topics well.
  • Jacob
    More of a quick summary of a book but I found it interesting because I had never heard of this company before.
  • Karen
    Eye opening — or maybe I have been naive and turned a blind eye along the way. Is ignorance really bliss? After reading this book, it makes me want to seek out other similar stories...
  • Larry Corio
    Dry and tedious
  • Amanda
    So interesting/crazy! Also this whole story is more terrifying than our current many shady back alley deals!