In recent times, US west coast technology entrepreneurs have built companies based on close ties with the Pentagon. However, it is the close ties between this fifth-generation family-owned company and the US government that has stirred intrigue and made Bechtel the world’s builder. If you remove the layers of political ‘Bernie Sanders-style’ rhetoric from Sally Denton’s semi-biographical history of the business, – The Profiteers you uncover the fascinating and eye-opening past. This empire reported revenues of $37 billion in 2014 with operations in 37 countries. Unfortunately, Denton did not express her deep understanding of the nature of the family and its importance in making the business great, as well as decision and deal-making over the years. Instead, she told the story about corporate influence on democracy and capitalism. As the Financial Times put it: “[Denton] might have done better by focusing on Bechtel’s deals since 2000, though she clearly wanted to tell a history to span the ages”.
The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World By Sally Denton
Published by Simon and Schuster