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Ida Tarbell wrote a searing work on the corruption and greed of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, which made Rockefeller one of the richest men in history. Tarbell's work was so influential that it helped shape perception of robber barons and helped bring about regulations during the progressive years at the beginning of the 20th century.
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Ida M. Tarbell (1857–1944) 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 the top 100 works of 20th-century American journalism. She began her work on The Standard after her editors at McClure's Magazine called for a story on one of the trusts. Tarbell began her interviews with Henry H. Rogers, who had begun his career during the American Civil War in western Pennsylvania oil regions. In 1902 she conducted detailed interviews with the Standard Oil magnate. Rogers, wily and normally guarded in matters related to business and finance, may have been under the impression her work was to be complimentary. He was apparently unusually forthcoming. However, Tarbell's interviews with Rogers formed the basis for her negative exposé of the business practices of industrialist John D. Rockefeller and the massive Standard Oil organization. Her work, which became known at the time as muckraking (now called investigative journalism), first ran as a series of articles in McClure's Magazine. The series was later published as a book, The History of the Standard Oil Company in 1904, which spotlighted Rockefeller's practices and mobilized the public. Readers nationwide awaited each chapter of the story, serialized in 19 installments by McClure's between 1902 and 1904." Tarbell's look into the oil industry reinvented investigative reporting. She was meticulous in detailing Rockefeller's early interest in oil and how the industry began. Tarbell developed investigative reporting tactics, digging into public documents across the country. Separately, these documents provided individual instances of Standard Oil's strong-arm tactics against rivals, railroad companies and others that got in its way. Tarbell's reporting and writing of Standard Oil stood above everything else for two reasons. It was the first corporate coverage of its kind, and it attacked the business operations of Rockefeller, the best-known CEO in the country at the time. That a prominent person in American society could lead a company that used such unsavory operating tactics was eye-opening.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1507570082