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 the Hoover Dam. They would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. In their century-long quest, five generations of Bechtel men have harnessed and distributed much of the planet’s natural resources, including solar geothermal power. Bechtel is now one of the largest privately held corporations in the world.
The Bechtel Group has eclipsed its few rivals, with developments in emerging and third world nations that include secret military installations and defense projects; underground bunkers in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan; oil pipelines and entire cities in the Middle East; palaces for Arab rulers, such as the Saudi Royal Family; and chemical plants for Arab dictators.
Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel - one of the first mega companies to emerge in the American West - presents a complex and riveting narrative. Veiled in obsessive secrecy, Bechtel has had closer ties to the US government than any other private corporation in modern memory. “Riveting and revealing” (Kirkus Reviews), The Profiteers is one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
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