The History of the Standard Oil Company

By Ida Tarbell
With an introduction by Elizabeth Catte 

Part of Belt’s Revivals Series, a classic of muckraking journalism with a new introduction by Elizabeth Catte, author of What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia and Pure America.

Cleveland oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller formed the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in 1870. Over the next four decades, he turned the business into a behemoth, systematically driving his competitors out of business or buying them outright. His vast fortune made him one of the nation's most powerful men.

But his private empire was nearly undone by the tireless journalism of a single, determined woman, Ida Tarbell. Originally published in 1904, The History of the Standard Oil Company exposed Rockefeller's monopolistic tactics to the public, eventually resulting in the company's dismantling in 1911. More than simply a monumental piece of reporting; it is a deft, engrossing portrait of business in America—both its virtues and excesses.

This American classic is perfect for anyone interested in America’s history with big business, monopolies, income inequality, and the power of journalism to make genuine change. 

 


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