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Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  837 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Here is history that reads like fiction: the riveting story of two founding fathers of American industry—Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick—and the bloody steelworkers’ strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Author Les Standiford begins at the bitter end, when the dying Carnegie proposes a final meeting after two decades of separation, p ...more
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Published May 31st 2005 by Random House Audio (first published 2005)
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Jim Oglethorpe
Anyone interested in the history of America's Gilded Age will enjoy this excellent book, as will my friends that grew up in western Pennsylvania. The research is detailed and thorough, the personalities of H.C. Frick and Andrew Carnegie well defined. Although history has held Frick mostly responsible for the strike at Homestead in reality he was doing what Carnegie wanted. Carnegie was superior at public relations and was able to lay the blame on Frick.
Many of the facts I discovered here, and
Heather Schmitt
This book was entirely readable and fascinating. I always thought Frick was a ruthless ass and was proved right. Not saying that I'm a total Carnegie lover, but Frick just had no room for any sort of caring for the workers( who risked their lives every day for a pittance) who made Carnegie and Frick their millions. I always knew Carnegie was from Scotland, but never knew Frick was from Mount Pleasant,PA( about 20 minutes from where I live), and that Frick had an important coke business in Connel ...more
Paul Rhodes
Feb 18, 2009 Paul Rhodes is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Dale Carnegie in his seminal work How to Win Friends and Influence People uses Andrew Carnegie as an example of a man who became very rich and famous by being genuinely nice to people. Well, gee, I thought if such a good guy can also be one of the wealthiest people who ever graced God's green earth, then, well, perhaps I am just wrong to excoriate Capitalism as an economic system that favors ruthlessness over virtue. So, I wanted to read more about this great, swell human being Andrew Carnegie, ...more
Did you see the miniseries last year on the robber barons, The Men Who Built America? It was great. And one of the more fascinating stories was the story of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Frick, the guy who endowed hundreds of libraries, and the guy who created my favorite museum. Turns out they were both grade-A jerks, although in entirely different ways.

Both pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and worked their buns off to create massive companies -- Carnegie in steel and Frick in coke (an esse
Adele Fasick
Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick built up an industrial empire in the late 19th century based on producing the steel that was needed to build railroads across the country. Both Carnegie and Frick started out as poor boys, but that didn't give them much sympathy for labor. They exploited the mostly immigrant workers who produced the steel and were ruthless in fighting against unions. Toward the end of his life, Carnegie gave away almost all of his vast fortune building libraries, and endowing ...more
Cathy DuPont
Les Standiford is a favorite author of mine, so had to read the book.

Being from the south, I have limited knowledge of the northern industrial states so the first thing I had to do was print out a map of the Pittsburgh area. It would have been nice to include for those of us not so familiar with the area.

Perhaps Standiford wrote it for textbook purposes, and in that case, maybe a map wouldn't be necessary. In fact, when I was reading it, it kind of reminded me of a textbook.

The book was good
Karen Miller
This book had been on my Amazon WishList for a while, but I was really pushed to read it by watching "The Men Who Built America" on The History Channel. Either I wasn't paying close attention or the script writers for History only got the Cliffs Notes version, because this book told quite a different story of the eventual falling out between Carnegie and Frick. There's quite a bit of insight into character and motivations, as well as highlights of the early years of the labor movement (quite tim ...more
To me this is a story of how the pursuit of money turned into an addiction which affected Carnegie and Frick to lose their sense of reality and empathy with the common man that they once were. I'd give it a 3.5 stars. The first third of the book was rather dry but when the story reached the Homestead riots I was fascinated. It's definitely worth reading if you are interested in Pittsburgh history.
Jul 26, 2015 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in American history, the Gilded Age, Western Pennsylvanians
Finally finished this after several tries.
I found it slow going through the first part that dealt a lot with technology and economics, but once I got through that, it moved like an action adventure.
The retelling of the Homestead strike kept me on the edge of my seat even though I knew the outcome. I only wish he had spent a little more time on the Johnstown Flood, but that's just me.
I'm really glad I stayed with this. As someone who lives in Pittsburgh, it renewed my interest in the Steel histo
AdultNonFiction Teton County Library
TCL call #338.7 Standiford

Joe's Rating: 4 stars
While the book is presented as a dual biography of Frick and Carnegie in reality Stadiford does an excellent job of presenting the history of the time in which these two men came to fame. He makes the argument that these men were not just bystanders who were in the right place at the right time but rather how it was their actions that led to the history and shaping of this nation. He brilliantly weaves the facts and timeline to fit in with the stor
One book by Les Standiford will lead you to another book by Les Standiford. One can't resist his quirky call. A nice small-scaled study of these two outsized characters -- bastards both, though Carnegie managed to do a lot of postumous mopping up of his mess.
Andrew S.
In this book, Standiford tells the tales of two "rags-to-riches" Americans, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. The book tells of how both Carnegie and Frick, even though they started their lives in a poor family, were able to become the most influential men in the steel industry during the turn of the century. Through the course of the book, the author tells about how these two lives intersected, but, split themselves up by force. The author reminds one that Carnegie and Frick were able to s ...more
interesting subject matter, but the author could have done a better job. writing-wise, it was a little uneven. that said, it was a good reminder why many people advocate eating the rich.
This is a great story that turns out to be just an average book. It basically details the friendship between steel magnates Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick while focusing on the pivotal event that ultimately led to the pair's broken union, the 1892 Homestead Steel Strike. Starting with the final communication between the duo that gives the book its memorable title (it refers to Frick's response to a dying Carnegie's request to meet up with his friend one last time), the book proceeds as a d ...more
Les Standiford paints a balanced, realistic portrait of a volatile moment in American history. He skillfully recounts the stormy drama of the Homestead Steel Strike through the perspectives of the striking steel workers and union men, the management and stock holders, and the hapless young men who regretted ever taking a job with the Pinkertons. These chapters on the Strike are gripping, and should be required reading for students in Pittsburgh today. The premise of recounting the friendship and ...more
I have always been fascinated by the “robber barons” of the late nineteenth century. They achieved a level of wealth never before seen and never again equaled. Even today’s billionaires did not have the kind of riches achieved by these men. In America, two of the most well-known were Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. What began as a prosperous relationship between the two men devolved into a bitter hatred, especially by Frick. As the two men neared the end of their lives, Carnegie reached ou ...more
A terrific story and highly recommended. The writer has detailed the lives of Carnegie and Frick as well as the corporate attitudes of the day (an era the many Republicans would like to return to). Standiford also evokes the USA of that era and the corruption, business practices and the reactions of the authorities to events at Homestead. It has certainly changed my opinions of both men - Frick is not quite the monster I knew of while Carnegie lacked a great deal of the moral courage I thought h ...more
The Gilded Age has always been a fascinating, if not romantic era to me with its larger-than-life capitalists, the shaping relationship with labor, the exponential growth of the economy, and the literal laying out of the infrastructure for the 20th Century. While focusing on the love-hate, and then mostly hate relationship of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, this book does a decent job of describing some of the cultural and personal tensions that emerged as America industrialized. There wer ...more
This story revolves around two men’s personal and professional experiences dominating the steel industry. This history reads like fiction. The story develops both their lives from humble beginnings to homogenous partners and inevitably embittered enemies. These men special because there ambitious efforts still has its remnants in museums and libraries today.
Born out of lava. As seemingly everyday immigrants with these men took an American dream and made it reality beyond anything they could hav
Having toured Frick's mansions in New York and Pittsburgh, as well as several of Carnegie's libraries, his eponymous university, and his mansion in New York, I was of course interested to hear how the two men famously fell out. The tale is not perhaps as dramatic as the title suggests, but it's still great stuff for anyone interested in the Gilded Age.

The central event of the book is the Homestead Steelworker's strike of 1890s. Acting under Carnegie's orders, Frick sent in strikebreakers and Pin
A wonderfully imagined retelling of the partnership between southwestern Pennsylvania's two most important figures in steel manufacturing (with particular attention paid to the famous Homestead strike), Meet You in Hell ought to be required reading for anyone with an interest in the turn-of-the-century labor struggle or anyone, like myself, who grew up a century afterward, still in its shadow.

While both Frick and Carnegie are portrayed as confident, Machiavellian characters, Frick seems to be th
It seemed like it was intended for me to read this for several random but related reasons: I recently visited the Frick Museum in New York, Sarah Vowell mentioned the Homestead Strike in her book Assassination Vacation; and I just finished reading another book written by Les Standiford (about Charles Dickens). Not only that, but who can resist his selected title?!

This book did read like fiction instead of non-fiction (in some ways it reminded me of Karen Abbott's Sin in the Second City), and I
Christopher Mitchell
I was interested in the subject from the start, but I wasn't drawn deeply into the book until it hits the Homestead strike and then I just didn't want to put it down. Coming at this subject without having read any other books on Frick or Carnegie, this was an excellent introduction as well as a stirring reminder of how capital has tended to crush workers all the while professing how hard it is on capital to make the decisions that kill and starve the people on the line.
Recommended to me by my boss where I teach, Meet You in Hell details the relationship, at times contentious, eventually toxic, between steel baron Andrew Carnegie and his business partner, Henry Clay Frick. Both would have a role to play in the Homestead Steel Mill Strike of 1892, an event which would drive a wedge between the two men to their dying days.

Les Standiford does an excellent job of providing an accessible character study of the two figures, their ambitions, and their personality qui
Paul Russo
Thought this was a good book up until the author gave his commentary on Capitalism at the end..... I pretty much agree 100% with Frick that unions must be broken, they have destroyed manufacturing jobs in this country, which is why corporations have gone overseas and took our technologies with them. Les Standford should either write non-fiction or commentary, but at least tell us up front and not in the last chapter.
Joe Snodgrass
Fascinating historical accounting of:

1)Rise to dominance of Carnegie Steel, which went on to become United States Steel.
2)Personal stories and glimpse into personalities of Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick
3)Origins of organized labor in the United States, and dramatic accounting of bloody and violent "Battle of Homestead".
4)Steelmaking in America, rise to world dominance, central role of Pittsburgh, change and decline

Strong connection to my personal history, since I grew up in Cleveland, wh
Lauren B.
IF you like "pop" history books about Pittsburgh, this is a terrific one to read. It's about the 1892 Homestead strike and how Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick came to hate each other. The title of the book makes it seem like the events are related, but by the time you get to the end of the book you realize the connection between the two events is not quite so black and white.
Two incredibly tough, stubborn, incredibly rich men.

A town full of workers being screwed by their turn-of-the-century corporate bosses, and not willing to have their wages reduced or their hours extended.

A group of scabs willing to take those jobs.

A gang of Pinkertons, armed and ready to keep the mill running.

Law enforcement, trying to maintain law and order at any cost.

You've just combined all the ingredients of the Homestead Strike and its bloody aftermath.

And bizarrely enough, both thes
Aug 14, 2015 Bullcitytaheel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bullcitytaheel by: Dad
Being originally from Pittsburgh and with all my family from there, I found this book interesting. Its focus is Carnegie's & Frick's relationship with the Homestead strike as the climax. I had heard of some of it - but did not realize the actual time frame, the additional players, nor the historical impact & significance.
This is as promised a history of the business relationship between Carnegie and Frisk. However, what Standiford accomplishes in this work is to outline how the imperative “It’s just business” has existed well before the current days of outsourcing and layoffs. He even takes time to poke at Walmart’s impact on small business towards the end. Not that the story about Carnegie and Frisk is not interesting in itself, but it certainly sounds not too different from current day antics. The biggest coun ...more
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Les Standiford is a historian and author and has since 1985 been the Director of the Florida International University Creative Writing Program. Standiford has been awarded the Frank O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, and belongs to the Associated Writing Programs, Mystery Writers of Ameri ...more
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