One of my favorite books that I have read recently is Kochland, which details the life of Charles Koch and the development of his company, Koch Industries. If you look up the list of the world’s richest people, at the top you’ll find familiar names like Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, etc; however, at #11, you will see the name Charles Koch. To most people, this name may not sound familiar. However, he has built one of the world’s most successful companies, Koch Industries.
Koch Industries is the largest privately held company in the world. This is a reason that many people do not know about it or recognize Charles Koch’s name. Koch Industries is also relatively obscure because it operates in hidden industries like energy, chemicals, gasoline, etc. However, these industries are among the most important in the world, which gives Charles Koch lots of money and power. In the book, Leonard describes how the company is run, and how it reflects the values and standards of its CEO, Charles Koch. Koch is an interesting and brilliant man, but he also has significant character flaws. These all make for a very controversial leader and person, which you learn about in the book.
The book also further details Charles Koch’s family life, personal and family issues, political leanings, core beliefs, and upbringing. Overall, it makes for a very compelling book, one that teaches you so much about someone people know so little about. Also, in reading this book, you will find out how important money is in helping someone achieve power and prestige. I believe that a lot of people will hate Charles Koch after reading this book, and rightfully so. However, you will understand how business savvy, yet ruthless he is.
I listened to this as an audiobook, so I do not know how difficult to read or how long it is in a normal book form. However, if you can get through it, it is well worth it.
Kochland Recommendation Rating: 4
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for
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