- Paperback: 704 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Export/Airside edition (2 September 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1471187500
- ISBN-13: 978-1471187506
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4.2 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Kochland Paperback – 2 Sep 2019
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`If you want a crash course in the evolution of postmodern capitalism over the last five decades read Kochland....Leonard's study is exhaustive and engaging.' * New York Journal of Books * `This page-turning expose reveals the full extent of the Koch brothers' influence on American capitalism.' * Book Riot * `Leonard's intricately developed and extensively researched history of the Koch empire is a colossal corporate biography that sheds important light on this closely guarded enterprise while simultaneously scrutinizing the nefarious underpinnings of American economic policies and practices.' * Booklist * `Leonard's superb investigations and even-handed, clear-eyed reportage stand out....American capitalism at its most successful and domineering is at the center of this sweeping history of a much-vilified company.' * Publishers Weekly * `A landmark book....A massively reported deep dive into the unparalleled corporate industrial giant Koch Industries....This impressively researched and well-rendered book also serves as a biography of Charles Koch, with Leonard providing an evenhanded treatment of the tycoon. Leonard's work is on par with Steve Coll's Private Empire and even Ida Tarbell's enduring classic The History of the Standard Oil Company.' * Kirkus Reviews * 'Christopher Leonard has produced an investigative feat: a hugely readable, entirely original, magisterial work on one of the most important subjects of our time - the weirdly cultish, terrifyingly successful empire built all-but invisibly by the billionaire sphinx Charles Koch.' -- Steve LeVine, author of The Oil and the Glory 'Christopher Leonard's Kochland is the kind of book that doesn't come along that often - a mind-blowing feat of reporting about a highly secretive organisation. What's even more amazing is that it seems destined to further convince both sides about the righteousness of their point of view. Those who believe in unfettered free-market capitalism will find much to feast on, while those concerned with the corrosive effects of growth at all costs will find more than enough to gorge on as well. And if the one side will see promise while the other sees peril, both should be able to agree on what this story is really about, which is power - and a terrifying amount of it at that.' -- Duff McDonald, New York Times bestselling author of The Firm 'Christopher Leonard's visionary, decade-spanning, and heart-rending investigation into the Koch Empire is indispensable not just for understanding the rise of corporate power in America, but for understanding America itself. Leonard's book will take its place alongside Chernow's Titan and Coll's Private Empire as one of the great accounts of American capitalism.' -- Jesse Eisinger, author of The Chickenshit Club 'Kochland is a dazzling feat of investigative reporting and epic narrative writing, a tour de force that takes the reader deep inside the rise of a vastly powerful family corporation that has come to influence American workers, markets, elections and the very ideas debated in our public square. Leonard's work is fair and meticulous, even as it reveals the Kochs as industrial Citizens Kane of our time.' -- Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Private Empire
About the Author
Christopher Leonard is a business reporter whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and Bloomberg Businessweek. He is the author of The Meat Racket and Kochland, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.
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Christopher Leonard spent more than seven years completing the research that generated the information and insights found in this lively narrative. He provides answers to questions such as these:
What is Charles Koch’s business philosophy?
What have been the greatest influences on its development?
What are the nature and extent of Koch Industries’ corporate power?
How to succeed within the Koch organization?
What does Charles Koch view as the greatest threats to his and the company’s success?
How has he managed to conceal so much information about himself and KI?
What to expect from “Kochland” and its leader in months and years to come?
These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Leonard’s coverage:
o Market Based Management (Pages 4, 7, 120, 152-153, 181, and 507-510)
o James Elroy (11-13, 19-21, and 130-133)
o FBI investigation of oil theft by KI (11-17, 26-27, and 242-144)
o Gaugers (15-16, 32-33, 45-49, 128-129, and 132-135)
o Ken Ballen (19-33 and 130-131)
o Charles Koch (28-33, 39-40, 192-193, 369-371,458-461, and 564-574)
o Pine Bend refinery (50-59)
o Bill Koch and his antagonism against CK (99-108, 108-112, 115-120, and 197-199)
o Koch University (120-129)
o Texas (121-141)
o W. Edwards Deming’s influence on CK (122-124)
o KI’s acquisitions strategy (125-127, 198-199, and 224-225)
o KI’s management of toxic pollutants (159-161 and 165-171)
o Ammonia (165-176 and 180-187)
o Georgia-Pacific (307-324, 328-335, 512-514)
o Republication positions re cap-and-trade legislation (393-394, 420-422, and 424-425, 442-445, and 451-457)
o Fracking (463-472 and 475-479)
o Border Adjustment Tax (542-551)
o Americans for Prosperity (546-551)
This is not a definitive biography of Charles Koch. Rather, Leonard offers a comprehensive, often compelling analysis of him as a quintessential CEO who has led Koch Industries during the last 50 years. KI is itself an exemplar of the modern global corporation, for better or worse. He and this privately-owned company are interdependent…and representative of ongoing conflicts between free enterprise and governmental oversight.
In months and years to come, Christopher Leonard suggests, we can expect Charles Koch to do everything he can to ensure that “the proper shape of Americans society [is] the shape of Kochland.” He is in no hurry. He measures success on a very long timeline, “on a scale of years, even decades.” And his plan is “still just in its early stages.”