The History of the Standard Oil Company: Briefer Version

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Courier Dover Publications, Feb 10, 2003 - Business & Economics - 227 pages
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Muckrakers — a term coined in 1906 by President Theodore Roosevelt — referred to American journalists, novelists and critics who, in the early 20th century, attempted to expose corruption in politics and the abuses of big business. One publication spearheading these exposés was McClures Magazine, and Ida Tarbell was the writer whose dramatic revelations eventually lead to effective regulation of the Standard Oil Company. Her story, serialized by McClure's in 1902 and 1903, tells the history of John D. Rockefeller's company. The first major industrial monopoly in the U.S., Standard Oil, in 1901, was the largest corporation in the country, and at its peak, controlled as much as eighty-five percent of oil refining in America. But with all his wealth and power, Rockfeller could not protect himself from Tarbell. Her story of the company, which became a model for militant journalists in the future, managed to place the blame for increasingly commercialized American ideals and practical behavior at Rockefeller's doorstep. Combining descriptions of his business practices with his personal characteristics and even his physical appearance, Tarbell created an image of a cunning and ruthless person--a picture that not even decades of Rockefeller philanthropy were able to dispel. This edition (the "briefer version" of her book; the original was more than 800 pages.) makes a great muckraking classic much more accessible to readers. As such, it will be invaluable to students and teachers of American economic history and a fascinating read for anyone interested in the muckraking era and the days of unregulated big business.
  

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User Review  - hhornblower - LibraryThing

A great example of muckracking journalism. It helped bring in the age consumer protection and a break-up of anti-competative corporations. Just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago. Read full review

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A fascinating work, and a classic of American business writing.

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Contents

THE BIRTH OF AN INDUSTRY
1
THE RISE OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY
22
THE OIL WAR OF 1872
34
AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE
46
LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS
56
STRENGTHENING THE FOUNDATIONS
71
THE CRISIS OF 1878
83
THE COMPROMISE OF 1880
94
THE WAR ON THE REBATE
125
THE BUFFALO CASE
137
THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY AND POLITICS
144
THE BREAKING UP OF THE TRUST
154
A MODERN WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE
166
THE PRICE OF OIL
184
THE LEGITIMATE GREATNESS OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY
196
CONCLUSION
209

THE FIGHT FOR THE SEABOARD PIPELINE
100
CUTTING TO KILL
110

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About the author (2003)

Ida M. Tarbell is remembered for her muckraking journalism and her expose of the Standard Oil Company. Kenneth J. Winkle is an associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and author of "The Politics of Community: Migration and Politics in Antebellum Ohio.

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