The History of Standard Oil: Volume 1
by Ida Tarbell
'The History of Standard Oil: Volume 1' Summary
The inspiration behind The History of Standard Oil Company was largely fueled by Ida Tarbell's childhood experiences. Her father, Franklin Tarbell, worked for Standard Oil and lived through what Ida called "hate, suspicion, and fear that engulfed the community." As a direct witness to the schemes and horizontal integration of John D. Rockefeller and his associates, Tarbell began building the foundations of The History of the Standard Oil Company early with growing senses of interest and discontent.
After her education and to accumulate writing experience, Tarbell began working at McClure's Magazine, where she wrote several successful series on historical figures. After this initial success, her shift turned to John D. Rockefeller. She began by interviewing Henry H. Rogers, one of her father's fellow independents who became one of Rockefeller's colleagues, as well as others close to the inner workings of Standard Oil, that included one of the founders Frank Barstow as well. Eventually, Tarbell uncovered a crucial piece of evidence proving that Standard Oil was rigging railroad prices and preying on its competition.
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