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Chatterjee (Iraq Inc.) delves into the nebulous world of the Houston-based Halliburton corporation, tracing the company to its roots, when a fortuitous meeting with a young Lyndon Baines Johnson propelled the Brown and Root Company (which later merged with Halliburton) into Washington power politics. The author details the military contracting that largely funded the company through WWII and into the present-day war in Iraq, intertwining the company's history with the biographies of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other officials in the Bush administration. Chatterjee provides a laundry list of abuses for which the company has been investigated, including inflated billing of the Pentagon, providing unsafe living conditions for U.S. soldiers, labor exploitation and coverups to avoid congressional inquiry. He concludes with a look at the whistleblowers that brought these scandals into the public eye and the repercussions of the eventual congressional investigation. Chatterjee keeps the pace of the narrative at a quick clip and nimbly marshals his extensive evidence to reveal-without sanctimony or stridency-Halliburton's record of corruption, political manipulation and human rights abuses. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.