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

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,037 Ratings  ·  129 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
ebook, 304 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Broadway Books (first published 2005)
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Valeria Jaime The Homestead Steal Strike led to the bloodiest
conflict between management and labor in United States history and signified the beginning of the end…more
The Homestead Steal Strike led to the bloodiest
conflict between management and labor in United States history and signified the beginning of the end of the Carnegie - Frick alliance.(less)
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Leah K
Jul 11, 2016 Leah K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Partnership that Transformed America by Less Standiford
319 pages



As usual, the subtitles gives you a pretty good idea what this history book is about. It’s about Carnegie (Carnegie Steel Company) and Henry Frick (H. C. Frick & Company) and their partnership that would become the predecessor of U.S. Steel and boy would they become two rich people of the time (and even by today’s standards). If you’re looking for a detailed biography
...more
Carin
Oct 08, 2013 Carin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
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
...more
Jim Oglethorpe
Jan 23, 2014 Jim Oglethorpe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Heather Schmitt
Jun 13, 2014 Heather Schmitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Adele Fasick
May 27, 2013 Adele Fasick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Becky
Jul 26, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  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
...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
...more
Karen Miller
Dec 16, 2012 Karen Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Di
Jul 08, 2014 Di rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sarah
This was my car book for last week or so. Not a terrific history. Did not hold my attention. I like histories that focus more on the people's personalities, and the social history going on around them, not just a list of events and facts -- which is what this mostly felt like. There was great detail surounding the strikes at the Carnegie steel plants, which were very important to the nascent labor movement. But somehow the author never linked it up to the overall movements in the country, or wha ...more
FM
A fascinating glimpse of history--that seemed oddly contemporary. I know the author was focused on Carnegie and Frick, but I wished he had also talked a bit more about the working people who made these two so wealthy and what THEIR lives were like. Working 8-12 hours with molten iron must not have been too pleasant--no wonder the author points out that the average life expectancy at the time was 40 years old. But Carnegie made so much money he had trouble giving it away. While I'm a grateful Pit ...more
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
...more
Lorraine Herbon
This book was a disappointment. While it is a "history," its author did not provide the usual level of information on his sources as one might expect. The writing style is ridiculously simple and often somewhat flamboyant. He gives Carnegie a pass for all his wicked behavior, while Henry Clay Frick bears the brunt of the author's disapproval. Really, this just wasn't a good read.
Dena
Since this is the story of our regional history, it felt like reading about how we got "here."Reading the story of this lifetime exchange between Frick and Carnegie and about the chaos and tragedy at Homestead as an adult gave me a brand new and surprising perspective on so many things - unions, capitalists, our steel history, and so much more. Our blue collar history in Pittsburgh and the two men so frequently associated with philanthropy had become surface symbols to me. This book helped give ...more
Gail
Apr 22, 2009 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 02, 2014 Andrew S. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: form-ii
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
Mimi
Sep 24, 2011 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Craig
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
Karen
Feb 24, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dana
Dec 18, 2013 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Blair
Oct 11, 2013 Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
James
Jun 21, 2010 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-project
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
Vinnydbullet
Nov 14, 2012 Vinnydbullet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kay
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
...more
Derek
Jan 25, 2009 Derek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Christia
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
...more
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.
Sfmurphy
Feb 10, 2009 Sfmurphy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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.
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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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