Shortlisted for the 2019 Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year.
‘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
‘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
‘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
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 fibres in your clothes, the building materials that make your homes and offices, and the microchips that drive your life online.
For five decades, CEO Charles Koch has kept Koch Industries quietly operating behind a veil of secrecy, with a view toward very, very long-term profits. He’s a genius businessman: patient with profits, able to learn from his mistakes, determined that his employees develop an almost a worshipful dedication to free-market ruthlessness, and a master disrupter.
If you want to understand how we killed the unions in this country, how we widened the income divide, how we stalled progress on climate change and how corporate America bought the influence industry, all you have to do is listen to this book.
Seven years in the making, Kochland tells the ambitious tale of how one private company consolidated power over half a century – and how in doing so, transformed capitalism into something that feels so deeply alienating to many Americans today.