The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America

This year, New America celebrates 20 years of creating and incubating the next big ideas that address some of the nation's and the world’s toughest problems. We are thinkers, researchers, problem-solvers, and storytellers, united by our goal to hold our nation to its highest ideals. We recognize the challenges presented by rapid technological and social change, and work to ensure that the solutions made possible by those changes lead to greater opportunity for all. As we reach forward toward the next 20 years of New America, we will strive to be an engine of American renewal, at home and abroad.

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Christopher Leonard’s Kochland tells the story of modern corporate America through the extraordinary account of how one of the biggest private companies in the world grew to be that big. The annual revenue of Koch Industries is bigger than that of Goldman Sachs, Facebook, and US Steel combined. Koch is everywhere: from the fertilizers that make our food to the chemicals that make our pipes to the synthetics that make our carpets and diapers to the Wall Street trading in all these commodities. But few people know much about Koch Industries and that’s because the billionaire Koch brothers have wanted it that way.

For five decades, CEO Charles Koch has kept Koch Industries quietly operating in deepest secrecy, with a view toward very, very long-term profits. He’s a brilliant businessman: patient with earnings, able to learn from his mistakes, determined that his employees develop a reverence for free-market ruthlessness, and a master disrupter. These strategies made him and his late brother David together richer than Bill Gates. But there’s another side to this story. If you want to understand how we killed the unions in this country, how we widened the income divide, stalled progress on climate change, and how our corporations bought the influence industry, you have to do is read this book.

Join New America's Fellows Program for a reading and discussion with Christopher Leonard, author of Kochland, and Franklin Foer, Class of 2016 and author of World Without Mind.

Registration begins at 5:30 PM; conversation begins promptly at 6:00 PM.

Light fare and drinks will be served.


Christopher Leonard
, @CLeonardNews
2014 National Fellow, New America
Author, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America

Franklin Foer, @FranklinFoer
2016 National Fellow, New America
Author, World Without Mind

Copies of Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America will be available for purchase through our bookselling partner Solid State Books, and a book signing will follow the discussion.