Kochland by Christopher Leonard
The extraordinary account of how the secretive Koch Industries became one of the largest private companies in the world.

Koch Industries, the sprawling industrial conglomerate owned by Charles and David Koch, specializes in the kinds of stunningly profitable businesses that undergird every aspect of modern life: it controls the nitrogen fertilizer that puts food on your table, the gasoline that powers your car, the fibers in your clothes, the building materials that make your homes and offices, and the microchips that drive your life online. The company’s annual revenue is larger than that of Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and US Steel combined, and together the two brothers are worth more than Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.

Yet few Americans know how Koch got so big or the costs of its unrivaled success. Just as Steve Coll told the story of globalization through ExxonMobil and Andrew Ross Sorkin told the story of Wall Street excess through Too Big to Fail, Christopher Leonard uses Koch’s ascent to tell the story of modern corporate America.

Praise for Kochland

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
“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. Kochland will take its place alongside Chernow’s Titan and Coll’s Private Empire as one of the great accounts of American capitalism.”
–Jesse Eisinger, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Chickenshit Club
“A Robert Caro-like narrative of business and political power with a brilliant, ruthless, and fascinating monopolist at its center. Leonard devoted eight years to this gem of a book, seeking to understand the mysterious Charles Koch and the Goliath he has taken a half century to construct.”
—Ken Auletta, New York Times bestselling author of Googled
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