Dark Money - Radicals: A Koch Family History Summary & Analysis

Jane Mayer
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Summary

Mayer begins this chapter on the history of the Koch family by briefly describing the early life of family patriarch, Fred Koch. Born in Texas in 1900, Fred was “bright and eager to get out from under his overbearing old-world father,” which led him to study chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (27). By the age of twenty-seven, Fred Koch invented an effective new process for extracting gasoline from crude oil. Shut out by wealthy competitors in the U.S., Koch took his business ventures abroad, specifically to the Soviet Union.

Fred Koch earned his fortune primarily in the Soviet Union, where his company taught and trained Russian engineers to extract and refine their own oil. His presence in the Soviet Union had faded by 1932, and his corporate presence altogether ceases, on paper, until 1940. Mayer fills in the incomplete corporate...

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This section contains 1,825 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dark Money Study Guide
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