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The History of Standard Oil

Ida M. Tarbell

Book Overview: 

The History of the Standard Oil Company is an expose of the Standard Oil Company, run at that time by oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, the richest figure in America's history. The book was a seminal example of muckraking, and inspired many other journalists to write about trusts, large businesses that (in the absence of strong antitrust law in the 19th century) attempted to gain monopolies in various industries. The History of the Standard Oil Company was credited with hastening the breakup of Standard Oil. ( Summary by Wikipedia )

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Community Reviews

A deep read that requires quiet and time for concentration. Still, it is more than mere history as there is a modern relevance to the tale.

A must read for any serious student of business history. Rockafeller's patience and determination, conjoined with his very loyal team, exposed all the weakness of poor leadership, impatience, lack of mission and over zealous vengeance. Rockafeller won, in my opinion, by simply waiting for the oil...more

My reaction to this book was similar to how I felt after I watched "The Wolf of Wall Street": like I needed a long hot shower with lots of soap.

Written in 1904 by Ida Mae Tarbell, a well-known muckraker journalist of the early 20th century (that's a good thing, by the way), this book describes t...more

Slow reading because you must also make your way through the jumble caused by scanning. Now I understand a bit more why the Standard Oil Company was almost always drawn as an octopus in the political cartoons of the time.
So glad Teddy went in with his big stick.

Warning: Im originally from Oil Country, so I might be a bit biased in this review. I also love her-story, so theres that influencing this review as well. All in all though, amazing skillful journalism against all powerful big business.

OK, so I skipped over the annexures. But this book is a must-read for any business student and also for any business journalism student. Beautifully researched and put-together, it more than fulfills what it says on the cover; a History of the Standard Oil Company is what you'll get, from the POV...more