Taking on the Trust by Steve Weinberg
The Epic Battle of Ida Tarbell and John D. Rockefeller

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How a female investigative journalist brought down the world’s greatest tycoon and broke up the Standard Oil monopoly.

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. Based on extensive research in the Tarbell and Rockefeller archives, Taking on the Trust is a vivid and dramatic history of the Progressive Era with powerful resonance for the first decades of the twenty-first century.

About Steve Weinberg

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The author of six books, Steve Weinberg has been a longtime board member of the National Book Critics Circle and currently teaches investigative journalism at the University of Missouri Journalism School. He lives in Columbia, Missouri.
Published March 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 321 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Education & Reference, Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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(Rockefeller mostly drops out of the narrative here.) After producing two circulation-boosting series on Napoleon and Lincoln, she tackled Standard Oil, writing a serialized exposé of the trust’s business practices that when published in book form became her most famous work, The History of the S...

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Publishers Weekly

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Her reporting helped create the modern genre of investigative journalism, and the author's brief references to Wal-Mart and contemporary journalism suggest that he hopes this engaging account—a likely pick for journalism classes—can help inspire more reporters to follow in Tarbell's footsteps.

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Bookmarks Magazine

Steiger Cleveland Plain Dealer 3.5 of 5 Stars "[Weinberg] writes parallel biographies of Tarbell and Rockefeller while illuminating their intersection with America’s rapid industrialization, the creation of the modern corporation and the Progressive Era.

Apr 10 2008 | Read Full Review of Taking on the Trust: The Epic...

Red Room

This article appeared on page E - 4 of the San Francisco Chronicle Link to Full Review: Nonfiction Review: Taking Aim At The President ...

Jan 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Taking on the Trust: The Epic...

The Pitch News

Tarbell wrote a biography of Rockefeller that forced his company needed a PR firm, "one of the first employed by any U.S. corporation," Weinberg reports.

Oct 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Taking on the Trust: The Epic...

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