Sons of Wichita

Sons of Wichita

How the Koch Brothers Became America's Most Powerful and Private Dynasty

eBook - 2014
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Not long after the death of his father, whose heart gave out suddenly in November 1967, Charles Koch, then in his early 30s, discovered a letter his father had written when his four sons were small. "My dear boys," it began when you are 21, you will receive what now seems to be a large sum of money. It may either be a blessing or a curse." "Above all," he cautioned, "be kind and generous to one another."In the ensuing decades, Fred's legacy became a blessing and a curse. Two of his sons, Charles and David, joined forces to build Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in the world. But they ended up in an epic feud with brothers Bill and Frederick that spanned nearly two decades, tearing the family apart-and nearly Koch Industries along with it.
Publisher: 2014
ISBN: 9781455579006
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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j
jthomas65
Jul 17, 2017

Biography of Fred Koch and his four sons! Extremely disfunctional family. Brothers sue brothers! Story of anger and greed in America's richest family. Libertarian Koch brothers want to shape the government into their idea of what it should be! Owners of Koch Industries, Wichita, KS. Spend millions each year on politicians and Libertarian causes!

s
StarGladiator
Apr 02, 2015

I was underwhelmed by this book, I don't know if it was just lacking in background, or the author doesn't understand finance, nor what was important and what was trivial, but I could get more damning information from Josh On's site, exxonsecrets.org on the Koch brothers! I've read more informative articles, and this was quite a large book. The author is a Mother Jones reporter, and I've often complained to them about their poorly researched or backgrounded articles [during Bush's administration, they would mention D.G. Gribbin IV, without ever mentioning that he was Dick Cheney's godson, lived the Koch creed, and was dedicated to the privatization of every road in America, turning them all into toll roads!]

i
irenedabanian
Nov 24, 2014

A disappointing book that does not ring true to its title. Should be titled, The Koch Brothers and their Quest for control of the company. Author may not understand business and what it takes to build one and stay valuable for almost 100 years. Schulman is a journalist, not a researcher. Does not understand nor describe what the company does. Reads easy as a sleazy tabloid, giving the dirt on personal matters within the family. Sensationalized a lawsuit regarding two death in an unfortunate gas line leak, describing the details of the burning bodies of the victims. Does not explain really what the company does, nor how it provides value. I think it does employ 100,000 employees who support families. To stay in business, a company has to provide value and be run effectively. Schulman, the author may not understand this.
He chooses to write about the dirt within each of the brothers' lives. The founder was a poor country boy of immigrant parents who made his way to study engineering at MIT. Three of his four sons graduated in engineering from MIT as well. Analytical thinking helped propel the company to acquire other businesses and to create value for customers on what the company provides. It would be a shame for the author to profit from this sleaze material so if you must read , read a library copy. It is interesting, but it is NOT about how the Koch brothers built the company. That book would have to be written by alone one with more analytical skills and education. This book is a sleaze rag.

m
Memawrayne
Nov 01, 2014

A very interesting and well-written book. It shows how some can get their way with money rather than respecting the voice of the voter. These brothers prove the old adage that "money can't buy happiness". But I don't think happiness is a part of their vocabulary. It is "get what I want at whatever cost and dismiss any other opinions.

voisjoe1 Jul 30, 2014

This book is valuable for exploring the lives of one the wealthiest and most right-wing families in America. The four sons of Fred Koch (a founder of the right-wing John Birch Society), inherited his fortune, and their current, combined wealth is more than $75B. Three of the sons are in the oil, etc. industry, with the two wealthiest sons, David and Charles, spending 100’s of millions of dollars on think tanks and election campaigns with the goal of basically eliminating oil industry restrictions, reducing or eliminating taxs for the 1% and getting candidates favoring the 1% take over Congress and the Presidency. Their most famous organizations are the Cato Institute, the Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works (ideological arm of the Tea Party), and the Mercatus Center of George Mason University. While 97% of the world’s scientists believe that oil and coal, etc. use by humans are a major cause of climate change, the Kochs and Exxon Mobile fund the 3% deniers. Unfortunately, the media then give the two sides equal time making many Americans believe the 3%, resulting in worse and worse climatic disasters each year. The Kochs have spent $67million in the last 15 years spreading their climate denying “theories.” The Kochs and their cohorts spent hundreds of millions of dollars in 2012 in their effort to elect Mitt Romney, who would surely have been lowering taxes on the 1% and allowing the proliferation of air and water pollution by the oil industry.

Ham625 Jul 13, 2014

A worthwhile book about the Koch brothers and American politics.

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