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The Halliburton Agenda: The Politics of Oil and Money

by Dan Briody

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552387,347 (3.44)None
The author of the bestseller The Iron Triangle untangles a web of political back scratching in one of the world's most powerful companies Halliburton-a Texas oil-field company Dick Cheney ran before he became Vice President-has courted controversy for the better part of the twentieth century, but only recently has it received intense media scrutiny. In The Halliburton Agenda, Halliburton and its subsidiaries form the foundation of a fascinating story of influence peddling and behind-the-scenes political maneuvering that has only increased in momentum over the last decade-culminating in a firestorm of problems arising as soon as Cheney took office. This intriguing book shows readers where Halliburton has been doing business and with whom-topping the list so far are Iran, Iraq, and Libya. It also reveals how this juggernaut of a corporation has engaged in a cycle of profits that begins by selling products and services to potential terrorist states, contracting with the federal government during times of war against those states, then gaining valuable rebuilding contracts to help repair those states. It will also show how a Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, has become an indispensable part of the U.S. military, so much so that the two are indistinguishable at times. Halliburton is one of the first American companies to recognize the importance of aligning itself with powerful politicians, heavily contributing to campaigns, then cashing in on lucrative government contracts. Engaging and informative, The Halliburton Agenda carefully explores the arc of the company's success, its use of political affiliation, and the scope of its international business.… (more)
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Halliburton Company (Subject); Kellogg Brown and Root (Subject)
  LOM-Lausanne | May 1, 2020 |
Regardless of your political persuasion, I recommend The Halliburton Agenda. Author Dan Briody follows Erle Halliburton's career from the oil fields as a driver in the early 1900's to the boardrooms where in the 1920's Halliburton was already a millionaire. During the same era brothers, Herman and George, founders of Brown & Root, the predecessor of the modern day Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) that is now a subsidiary of Halliburton, began as road builders and garbage haulers in Texas and graduated to dam builders and became a major government contractor as they learned to work the political system.
The ties between the Brown brothers and politicians, most notably Lyndon Johnson, are revealed in some detail. It is a fascinating view. The ups and downs of KBR are followed through the decades as the construction firm lands contract after contract.

Early on, author Briody makes a strong effort to keep his opinions - if not his perspective - off the pages. Unfortunately later in the book, he does not stick to the facts, but occasionally opines. An example of this editorializing is found on page 211 when discussing Dick Cheney Briody states "Either way, he's not the man I want bending the president's ear on a daily basis." I would have preferred coming to that conclusion on my own.

Overall, the book has a good deal of balance with Briody giving space to others praising Halliburton's while raising questions about the LOGCAP (Logistics Civil Augmentation Program) design and bidding process.

I like timelines, charts and pictures. Unfortunately, this book has none. A timeline of the successes and failures with a listing of the contracts would be a nice addition to the book. Also, photographs of the major players and construction projects would add flavor. ( )
  Grandeplease | Oct 24, 2008 |
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The author of the bestseller The Iron Triangle untangles a web of political back scratching in one of the world's most powerful companies Halliburton-a Texas oil-field company Dick Cheney ran before he became Vice President-has courted controversy for the better part of the twentieth century, but only recently has it received intense media scrutiny. In The Halliburton Agenda, Halliburton and its subsidiaries form the foundation of a fascinating story of influence peddling and behind-the-scenes political maneuvering that has only increased in momentum over the last decade-culminating in a firestorm of problems arising as soon as Cheney took office. This intriguing book shows readers where Halliburton has been doing business and with whom-topping the list so far are Iran, Iraq, and Libya. It also reveals how this juggernaut of a corporation has engaged in a cycle of profits that begins by selling products and services to potential terrorist states, contracting with the federal government during times of war against those states, then gaining valuable rebuilding contracts to help repair those states. It will also show how a Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, has become an indispensable part of the U.S. military, so much so that the two are indistinguishable at times. Halliburton is one of the first American companies to recognize the importance of aligning itself with powerful politicians, heavily contributing to campaigns, then cashing in on lucrative government contracts. Engaging and informative, The Halliburton Agenda carefully explores the arc of the company's success, its use of political affiliation, and the scope of its international business.

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