|About the Book|
Herman and George R. Brown, formidable figures in the construction industry and Texas politics, were an almost perfect business team. Practical and decisive Herman, a natural builder, and university trained, soft-spoken George, a natural salesperson,MoreHerman and George R. Brown, formidable figures in the construction industry and Texas politics, were an almost perfect business team. Practical and decisive Herman, a natural builder, and university trained, soft-spoken George, a natural salesperson, combined their individual strengths with their shared strong work ethic and ambition and developed Brown and Root, a company that began by building roads and grew into a diversified international construction company. Builders serves both as a history of their lives and as an examination of business life in mid-twentieth-century America.Five years after he began a small road construction company in Central Texas in 1914, Herman, using capital from brother-in-law Dan Root, formed Brown & Root, with George joining the company in 1922. After searching aggressively for work during the Depression, their big break came when they won the contract for the Marshall Ford Dam on the Colorado River in 1936. During World War II they grew into a national presence by building several large-scale military projects, and carried that momentum through the post-war boom years, when Brown and Root expanded to become a very successful international company.In addition to examining Herman and George Browns business accomplishments, Joseph A. Pratt and Christopher J. Castaneda also address the political influence and antiunionism associated with the Brown name. The authors present a balanced account of both the Browns treatment of workers and of their longtime relationship with Lyndon Baines Johnson. Also included is information about the Brown Foundation, created in 1951 and through which George in particular worked on the development of educational and cultural institutions.This carefully researched and well-written biography of two brothers who strove for success and emphatically achieved it is sure to interest students and enthusiasts of both business and Texas history.