The Profiteers

Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World

The Profiteers

From the bestselling coauthor of The Money and the Power (which the Los Angeles Times called “one of the most important nonfiction books published in a half century”)—the inside story of the Bechtel family and the empire they’ve controlled since the construction of the Hoover Dam.

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 privatization 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.

Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 448 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476706467 | 
  • March 2016
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About the Author

Sally Denton
Photograph by Aaron Mayes

Sally Denton

Sally Denton is an investigative reporter, author, and historian who writes about the subjects others ignore—from a drug conspiracy in Kentucky to organized crime in Las Vegas; from corruption within the Mormon Church to the hidden history of Manifest Destiny; from one of America’s bitterest political campaigns to the powerful forces against Franklin D. Roosevelt. She has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson Public Scholar Fellowship, and the Black Mountain/Kluge Fellowship. She is the author of, among others, The Money and the Power, American Massacre, The Bluegrass Conspiracy, and The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World.

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