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History of Standard Oil Company

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  14 reviews
This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most impor ...more
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Stephen Masri If you have the patience. Tedious, colorless prose and unedifying detail.

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T
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 the start of the oil industry and its eventual demise as a competitive industry due to the antics of a consortium led by John D. Rockefeller. The book covers the period of about 1830 - 1900.

The first half
...more
Joseph M
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a decent book about the pitfalls of capitalism in the late 1800s. I thought the author wrote too much at times (there are a shitload of typos also), but overall it was an interesting read for anyone interested in the history of monopolies (in oil) in the US.
Rohit Nair
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 of a critical outsider. To really get a sense of what you're dealing with, you should read at least the wikipedia article on Standard Oil before starting this book. Here's something to get you started: ...more
Steph
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Warning: I´m originally from Oil Country, so I might be a bit biased in this review. I also love her-story, so there´s that influencing this review as well. All in all though, amazing skillful journalism against all powerful big business.
Judy
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The question I had before I started reading Ida Tarbell's 1904 The History of Standard Oil was whether John D. Rockefeller was able to transform Standard Oil into the behemoth monopoly it became just because he had the sharpest elbows in the room or because he truly committed illegal activities. The answer is that he had no qualms about lying, spying, or buying politicians to engage in some of the most cutthroat competition known in the history of capitalism. But Tarbell gives credit where due, ...more
Dennis Garone
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading “TITAN” the continuous mention of Ids M Tarbell’s investigative work piqued my interest. I purchased a re-publish of the 2 volumes which were originally published in 1904.

While the trusts of the late 19th Century were rampant in the US, Tarbell chose the biggest, most dynamic trust to investigate.

She writes a detailed account of the practices of John D Rockefeller and his Standard Oil trust delving into testimony, records, minutes from meeting to paint a picture of how one man or
...more
Belle Meade School
Nov 12, 2019 marked it as 300-399-social-science  ·  review of another edition
338.76655
SHNILA PARVEEN
One of the pioneers of investigative journalism aka Muckraking, this compilation of articles written by Ida Tarbell for McClure, shredding Standard Oil Company and John Rockefeller's monopolistic business practice is a magnificent work.

By the beginning of 20th century, the anti-competitive practices of businesses across various industries had already started drawing flak from the nation and Government authorities. A definitive push came in the form of series of the articles written by Ida Tarbe
...more
Katie Parsons
Despite the modest rating, this is an *important* book and if you're at all interested in antitrust movements, this is a must read. Parts are fascinating, but it's a long read (!) and is not exactly a riveting narrative.

Tarbell touched in detail on two arguments that are as central to big-tech's assertions that it should continue unimpeded as they were to Standard - that it's only with the massive capital of a monopoly that industry will innovate: proven untrue. And that it's only through centr
...more
Sherry
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Didn't finish. It held my attention well until it got into the court cases. Then I was done. ...more
Laurel Connell
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.
Melanie Cornelius
outstanding history of the birth of the commercial petroleum industry.
Jim
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Joanna Ganning
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dry but essential in US economic history
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Ida Minerva Tarbell was an American teacher, author and journalist. She was known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of the progressive era, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism". She wrote many notable magazine series and biographies. She is best-known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed as No. 5 in a 1999 list by the New York Times of th ...more

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40 likes · 17 comments
“If it has taught us anything, it is that our present law-makers, as a body, are ignorant, corrupt and unprincipled; that the majority of them are, directly or indirectly, under the control of the very monopolies against whose acts we have been seeking relief. . ” 6 likes
“Appendix, Number 23. The Rutter circular.” 1 likes
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