The Profiteers
The Profiteers Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World By Denton, Sally Book - 2016

“The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World”, by Sally Denton is one of those books that I come across every once in a while; I’ll like the book but not the subject. I enjoyed it as a well-written, intriguing history of one the biggest, most powerful, most profitable companies on Earth. And, on the other hand, by the time I had finished it, I came to think of this as an infuriating story with Bechtel as a villain, a mega-company that only cares about wringing every last bit of income from the bloated government contracts that form the vast majority of their business. The revolving door of government officials, going from the highest levels of government to Bechtel, or from Bechtel to high government service, and then back to Bechtel again, is enough to make a person dizzy. What is most galling is that in some cases, American foreign policy decisions have been influenced by Bechtel’s cadre of lobbyists. If Bechtel has former government officials in its employ, and the government has former Bechtel employees holding important governmental positions, how could anyone believe that they have no influence? And what does Bechtel want? Well, profit, of course. Their lobbyists regularly try to influence the government to do what is best for Bechtel’s bottom line, seemingly with little regard for what is the best policy for America. Sally Denton, with skill and persistence, pulls back the veil, shining essential light on the secretive Leviathan that is Bechtel.

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