Daniel Schulman - Sons of Wichita - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £22.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781455518739
    • Publication date:03 Jul 2014

Sons of Wichita

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

By Daniel Schulman

  • Paperback
  • £13.99

Like The Rockefellers and The Ford Family, The Koch Brothers are one of America's wealthiest and politically-active families yet they have never been the subject of a major biography. Influenced by their father's radical libertarianism, Charles and David have built the family's oil and cattle empire into the second largest private corporation in America and their secretive backing of conservative causes, right-wing media and global-warming-denying science has prompted liberals to dub them 'The Kochtopus."

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. Bill would start his own energy company and attain a modicum of fame as a litigious wine-collector and yachtsman (he likened winning The America's Cup in 1992 to the ecstasy of "10,000 orgasms.") After being marginalized by the patriarch because of his effete manner, Frederick became a patron of the arts and a fastidious refurbisher of historic estates.

Starting with their boyhood when fraternal disputes were sometimes settled in the boxing ring, SONS OF WICHITA takes you inside this highly private family and traces the evolution of these four distinct personalities as well as their corporate, philosophical, social and political ambitions (many forget David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party's vp candidate in 1980). Influenced by the conservative, anti-communist sentiments of their father, a founding member of the John Birch Society, Charles and David devised an ambitious strategy to foist their ideological agenda upon the nation-quietly channeling millions of dollars of their fortune into a web of freemarket think tanks, academic programs, advocacy groups, and more, while also building what amounts to a shadow Republican Party, replete with a donor network capable of raising as much in an election cycle as the Republican National Committee. Never before did they flex their political muscles as vigorously as they did during the 2012 campaign, when Charles and David clashed with the Obama administration in what Charles described as the "mother of all wars."

Like The Rockefellers before them, The Koch (pronounced like the soft-drink "Coke") Brothers are a great American dynasty. Unlike The Rockefellers, they have never been the subject of a major biography before.

Biographical Notes

Daniel Schulman is a senior editor in the Washington bureau Mother Jones, and a founding member of the magazine's investigative journalism team.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781455518722
  • Publication date: 28 May 2015
  • Page count: 432
  • Imprint: Grand Central Publishing
Little, Brown

Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History

Richard J. Evans
Authors:
Richard J. Evans

At the time of his death at the age of 95, Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012) was the most famous historian in the world. His books were translated into more than fifty languages and he was as well known in Brazil and Italy as he was in Britain and the United States. His writings have had a huge and lasting effect on the practice of history. More than half a century after it appeared, his books remain a staple of university reading lists.He had an extraordinarily long life, with interests covering many countries and many cultures, ranging from poetry to jazz, literature to politics. He experienced life not only as a university teacher but also as a young Communist in the Weimar Republic, a radical student at Cambridge, a political activist, an army conscript, a Soho 'man about town', a Hampstead intellectual, a Cambridge don, an influential journalist, a world traveller, and finally a Grand Old Man of Letters.In A Life in History, Richard Evans tells the story of Hobsbawm as an academic, but also as witness to history itself, and of the twentieth century's major political and intellectual currents. Eric not only wrote and spoke about many of the great issues of his time, but participated in many of them too, from Communist resistance to Hitler to revolution in Cuba, where he acted as an interpreter for Fidel Castro. He was a prominent part of the Jazz scene in Soho in the late 1950s and his writings played a pivotal role in the emergence of New Labour in the late 1980s and early 1990s.This, the first biography of Eric Hobsbawm, is far more than a study of a professional historian. It is a study of an era.

Center Street

Trailblazer

Dorothy Butler Gilliam
Authors:
Dorothy Butler Gilliam
Constable

Bring It On Home

Mark Blake
Authors:
Mark Blake
Constable

Backing into the Spotlight

Michael Whitehall
Authors:
Michael Whitehall

'Backing into the Spotlight is a hilarious and an unashamedly non-PC memoir . . . Now in his eighth decade, Whitehall is a fine raconteur, gloriously unreconstructed and still deeply suspicious of modernity' Daily MailStanding in front of a full-length mirror in my dressing room at ITV studios, waiting to go on to the set of Backchat, I had a brief conversation with my reflection.'Michael, what the f*** do you think you're doing?'Theatrical agent Michael Whitehall spent a career pushing others into the spotlight. He had been involved behind the scenes with the careers of many prominent actors, including Colin Firth, Richard Griffiths, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Courtenay, Ian Ogilvy, Judi Dench, Edward Fox, Michael Fassbender, Angela Thorne and Nigel Havers.But then, much to his surprise, his son Jack becomes a successful comedian and actor and decides that his new comedy partner should be his father. Whitehall Snr. finds himself reluctantly appearing on stage and then television, cast as the archetypal grumpy old man and thrust, in his early seventies, into a whole new career in front of the camera. Minor fame comes at a sedate pace: one of the highlights being a record £300,000 win for charity with Jack on Channel 4's The Million Pound Drop.In this enchanting memoir Whitehall looks back on his life, from growing up in suburban London in the 1940s and '50s with his saintly father and social climbing-mother, who coined the phrase 'à la carte' to describe people who were posher than she was and whose company she craved, to falling into a career as a successful theatrical agent and producer. As he says, 'Actors can be egotistical, greedy and vain, but they're not half as bad as agents and producers.'Charming, gossipy and above all very funny, Backing Into The Spotlight is no ordinary show business memoir.

Abacus

The Drowned And The Saved

Primo Levi
Authors:
Primo Levi

Shortly after completing The Drowned and the Saved, Primo Levi committed suicide. The manner of his death was sudden, violent and unpremeditated, and there are some who argue that he kiled himself because he was tormented by guilt - guilt that he had survived the horrors of Auschwitz while others, better than he, had gone to the wall.'The Drowned and the Saved dispels the myth that Primo Levi forgave the Germans for what they did to his people. He didn't, and couldn't forgive. He refused, however, to indulge in what he called "the bestial vice of hatred" which is an entirely different matter. The voice that sounds in his writing is that of a reasonable man . . . it warns and reminds us that the unimaginable can happen again. A would-be tyrant is waiting in the wings, with "beautiful words" on his lips. The book is constantly impressing on us the need to learn from the past, to make sense of the senseless' - Paul Bailey

Virago

The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister

Anne Lister
Authors:
Anne Lister

These remarkable diaries are a piece of lost lesbian history. Anne Lister defied the role of womanhood seen in the novels of Jane Austen: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller - and lesbian. She kept extensive diaries, written partly in code, of her life and loves. The diaries have been edited by Helena Whitbread, who spent years decoding and transcribing them.'[Anne Lister's] sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice. She controlled her cash and her body. At a time when women had to marry, or be looked after by a male relative, and when all their property on marriage passed to their husband, Anne Lister not only dodged the traps of being female, she set up a liaison with another woman that enhanced her own wealth and left both of them free to live as they wished . . . The diaries gave me courage' Jeanette Winterson'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women' Sarah Waters

Virago

Climbing The Bookshelves

Shirley Williams
Authors:
Shirley Williams

The role of women in our society has changed out of all recognition. But it has changed least in the House of Commons. I want to describe those changes and the resistances to them through the magnifying glass of my own life, a life that coincides with our turbulent post-war history.'Shirley Williams was born to politics. As well as being influenced by her mother, Vera Brittian, her father George Caitlin, a leading political scientist, encouraged his daughter to have high ambitions for herself - including daring to climb the bookshelves in his library. Elected as MP for Hitchin in 1964, she was a member of the Wilson and Callaghan governments and was also the Secretary of State for Education. As one of the 'Gang of Four' Shirley Williams famously broke away from the Labour Party to found the SDP in 1981 and later supported its merger with the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats. CLIMBING THE BOOKSHELVES is the voice of strong and passionate woman of luminous intelligence.

Sphere

Tokyo Hostess

Clare Campbell
Authors:
Clare Campbell

The ambition of Tokyo businessman Joji Obara was to have sex with five hundred women. He set up a kind of date-rape production line to do it - the horrible workings of which would become infamous in the course of a sensational trial.'In recent years, a number of high profile murder cases involving Western women who work as hostesses in Tokyo nightclubs have attracted the attention of the media. 'Gaijin' generally means 'foreign' or 'non-Japanese'. This book focuses on the victims of businessman Joji Obara, who was controversially acquitted of the murder of Lucie Blackman but jailed for that of Carita Ridgway. Samantha Ridgway, Carita's sister, and the Blackman family never gave up their fight for justice and finally Obara was jailed. But there are many more tragic stories of the men who prey on the gaijin girls...

Virago

Every Secret Thing

Gillian Slovo
Authors:
Gillian Slovo
Abacus

Amelia Earhart

Mary S. Lovell
Authors:
Mary S. Lovell

When she disappeared in 1937 over a shark-infested sea, Amelia Earhart had lived up to her wish - internationally famous, a daring and pioneering aviator, and ambassador extraordinary for the United States. Married to a man with a genius for publicity, her life was crowded, demanding and adventurous. Mary S. Lovell's superb biography examines a legend to reveal the pressures and influences that drove Amelia, and shows how her life, career and manner of death foreshadowed the tragedies and excesses of a media-dominated age.

Abacus

Aldous Huxley

Nicholas Murray
Authors:
Nicholas Murray
Abacus

War Child

Emmanuel Jal
Authors:
Emmanuel Jal

Emmanuel Jal was only seven years old when he was taken from his family home to become a child soldier with the rebel army in Sudan's bloody civil war for nearly five years. Beaten, starved and brutalised Emmanuel was put into battle in Ethiopia and southern Sudan carrying an AK-47 talller than himself.He attempted to leave the SPLA but was hunted down and thrown into a desert prison. He finally escaped and is now an internationally-acclaimed rap artist spreading messages of peace and reconciliation with his unique style of gospel rap.

Piatkus

Loving Peter

Judy Cook, Angela Levin
Authors:
Judy Cook, Angela Levin

Judy Huxtable, a beautiful Swinging Sixties model and actress, met and fell in love with Peter Cook in 1967. They were together during the memorable hit shows 'Behind the Fridge' and 'Derek and Clive', divorcing in 1989. Being intimate with Peter meant that Judy was inevitably close to Peter's comic partner, Dudley Moore, and they all formed an extraordinary bond. She was in a unique position to observe the special relationship that Peter and Dud shared, and the rivalry that existed between them.In LOVING PETER, Judy gives a perceptive and poignant account of the Peter Cook that only she knew. She writes with a mix of humour, insight and sadness about one of the funniest, most enigmatic and troubled men on the planet. She describes what he was like as a husband, performer, friend, father and man and gives an inside view of what really made him tick; why he seemed to want to destroy those he loved the most; how he succumbed to the destructive forces of drink and drugs; and how he and Dudley really got on.

Piatkus

Steven Tyler

Laura Jackson
Authors:
Laura Jackson

Steven Tyler is one of life's natural born survivors. With an exhaustively vibrant personality, this dynamic lead singer has been one of the most distinctive figures in rock music for more than three decades. Raised in a close, loving family, Tyler survived a tough upbringing in the Bronx. His inherent passion for performing and a talent for playing instruments propelled him into rock music as a teenager. He fronted a succession of local bands before meeting the guys with whom he would form Aerosmith in 1970. Laura Jackson reveals the stories behind Tyler's relationships with band members and the many women in his life, his battle with Hepatitis C, and his drug-fuelled meltdown during the late '70s and early '80s when he was snorting pure heroin. She also explores his visits to rehab in the 1980s which saved his life. Tyler has lived a roller coaster life of excess - spending over a million dollars on drugs - but is miraculously still performing. Steven Tyler: the biography tells his incredible story.

Abacus

Beyond Nab End

William Woodruff
Authors:
William Woodruff
Virago

My Forbidden Face

Latifa
Authors:
Latifa

Latifa was born into an educated middle-class Afghan family in Kabul in 1980. She dreamed of one day of becoming a journalist, she was interested in fashion, movies and friends. Her father was in the import/export business and her mother was a doctor.Then in September 1996, Taliban soldiers seized power in Kabul. From that moment, Latifa, just 16 years old became a prisoner in her own home. Her school was closed. Her mother was banned from working. The simplest and most basic freedoms - walking down the street, looking out a window - were no longer hers. She was now forced to wear a chadri. My Forbidden Face provides a poignant and highly personal account of life under the Taliban regime. With painful honesty and clarity Latifa describes the way she watched her world falling apart, in the name of a fanatical interpretation of a faith that she could not comprehend. Her voice captures a lost innocence, but also echoes her determination to live in freedom and hope. Earlier this year, Latifa and her parents escaped Afghanistan with the help of a French-based Afghan resistance group.

Sphere

Ricky

Ricky Tomlinson
Authors:
Ricky Tomlinson

I know that I'm going to get stick over this book, but there you go - it can't be helped. And some readers might think I'm a terrible liar when they read what follows, but everything in this book is true. Enough lies have been told about me, without me adding to them.' Famous as the lovable couch potato Jim Royle of The Royle Family, Ricky Tomlinson has entertained millions without ever leaving his armchair. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, he surprises yet again with a remarkable story of love, hardship, humour, injustice and triumph. His mother used to tell him that he had lived three lives, but even she miscounted. He has been a plasterer, banjo player, stand-up comic, union agitator, political activist, film extra, award-winning actor and unwilling guest of Her Majesty's prison service. Renowned and respected for his honesty, wit and integrity, Ricky brings all of these qualities to his extraordinary, moving and inspiring story.

PublicAffairs

Zhou Enlai

Gao Wenqian
Authors:
Gao Wenqian

When Gao Wenqian first published this ground-breaking, provocative biography in Hong Kong, it was immediately banned in the People's Republic. Using classified documents spirited out of the China, he offers an objective human portrait of the real Zhou Enlai, the premier of the People's Republic of China from 1949 until his death in 1976. Often touted as the last perfect revolutionary," Zhou is a modern saint" who offered protection to his people during the Cultural Revolution, and an icon who allows modern Chinese to find an admirable figure in what was a traumatic and bloody era. But his greatest gift was to survive, at almost any price, thanks to his acute understanding of where political power resided at any one time.

Virago

The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls
Authors:
Jeannette Walls

Now a major motion picture starring Brie Larson, Naomi Watts and Woody Harrelson.This is a startling memoir of a successful journalist's journey from the deserted and dusty mining towns of the American Southwest, to an antique filled apartment on Park Avenue. Jeanette Walls narrates her nomadic and adventurous childhood with her dreaming, 'brilliant' but alcoholic parents. At the age of seventeen she escapes on a Greyhound bus to New York with her older sister; her younger siblings follow later. After pursuing the education and civilisation her parents sought to escape, Jeanette eventually succeeds in her quest for the 'mundane, middle class existence' she had always craved. In her apartment, overlooked by 'a portrait of someone else's ancestor' she recounts poignant remembered images of star watching with her father, juxtaposed with recollections of irregular meals, accidents and police-car chases and reveals her complex feelings of shame, guilt, pity and pride toward her parents.

Marcus Berkmann

Marcus Berkmann has spent more than thirty years sitting in front of various television screens swearing at incompetent England batsmen. In his leisure time he has written columns on sport for Punch, the Independent on Sunday and the Daily Express. He is a regular contributor to Private Eye and has been the Spectator's pop music critic for over twenty years. His books include Rain Men: The Madness of Cricket, Zimmer Men: The Trials and Tribulations of the Ageing Cricketer, Fatherhood: The Truth and A Matter of Facts: The Insider's Guide to Quizzing