IFL American History Book Club: Taking on the Trust: How Ida Tarbell Brought Down John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil by Steve Weinberg
The IFL American History Book Club meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month to discuss their latest reading in American History. Hard copies of the title for checkout can be found on the Book Club Shelf on the first floor of the library.
This month we are reading: Taking on the Trust: How Ida Tarbell Brought Down John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil: The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller by Steve Weinberg (304 pp)
Long before the rise of mega-corporations like Wal-Mart and Microsoft, Standard Oil controlled the oil industry with a monopolistic force unprecedented in American business history. Undaunted by the ruthless power of its owner, John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937), a fearless and ambitious reporter named Ida Minerva Tarbell (1857–1944) confronted the company known simply as “The Trust.” Through her peerless fact gathering and devastating prose, Tarbell, a muckraking reporter at McClure’s magazine, pioneered the new practice of investigative journalism. Her shocking discoveries about Standard Oil and Rockefeller led, inexorably, to a dramatic confrontation during the opening decade of the twentieth century that culminated in the landmark 1911 Supreme Court antitrust decision breaking up the monopolies and forever altering the landscape of modern American industry.