For decades, the relationship between Bechtel and the US government has stirred intrigue. In The Profiteers, journalist Sally Denton seeks to unravel the history of Bechtel, from its raw beginnings in the American west to its advance into the Middle East — Read the complete FT review
The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world”, from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe.
Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatisation of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively.