Meet You in Hell

  • by Les Standiford
  • Narrated by John H. Mayer
  • 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is history that reads like fiction: the riveting story of two founding fathers of American industry, Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick, and the bloody steelworkers' strike that transformed their fabled partnership into a furious rivalry. Author Les Standiford begins at the bitter end, when the dying Carnegie proposes a final meeting after two decades of separation. Frick's reply: "Tell him that I'll meet him in hell." It is a fitting epitaph. Meet You in Hell is a classic tale of two men who embodied the best and worst of American capitalism. Standiford conjures up the majesty and danger of steel manufacturing, the rough-and-tumble of late-19th-century big business, and the fraught relationship of "the world's richest man" and the ruthless coke magnate to whom he entrusted his companies. Carnegie and Frick would introduce revolutionary new efficiencies and meticulous cost control to their enterprises, and would quickly come to dominate the world steel market. But their partnership had a dark side, revealed most starkly by their brutal handling of the Homestead Steel Strike of 1892. When Frick, acting on Carnegie's orders to do whatever was necessary, unleashed three hundred Pinkerton detectives, the result was the deadliest clash between management and labor in U.S. history. Resplendent with tales of backroom chicanery, bankruptcy, philanthropy, and personal idiosyncrasy, Meet You in Hell artfully weaves the relationship of these titans through the larger story of a young nation's economic rise.


What the Critics Say

"Standiford, the author of 14 previous books, brings his writerly experience to bear on this intriguing account of these two men's lives and of the industrial growth of the U.S." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

an extended journalistic tour

In history, there is analytical history, there is narrative history, and there is journalistic history. Each has a place. Each can be done very well. Journalistic history tends, in my mind, to be the least satisfying of these styles, for while it can put you right into the moment of the times being depicted, it is often so deep into the moment, that it cannot see the forest for the trees. That is precisely the problem with "Meet me in hell." It is well-written, it moves along, you kind'a get to know Carnegie & Frick & some of the key players at the Homestead strike. But it reads like an endless series in the newspaper. Little context is given about the industrial revolution in America, the so-called Gilded Age (an only slightly satirical description of the period from the pen of Mark Twain), the rise of labor & a certain variety of class struggle. Little motivation is apparent in the writing about Carnegie (who was a guy with alot of self-confusion & self-delusion, it must be said), and less so about Frick. I was disappointed.
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- D. Littman "history buff"

Revealing Character Study

A very good history of two of the most famous titans of the "Robber Baron" era of American industrialization, and their story is set against the background of the infamous Homestead Strike of 1892. Very often, American mythology makes saints out of these million- and billionaires, but their business activities were anything but saintly. Carnegie's and Frick's warts are on full display. You can even visit their homes in New York when you're done.
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- Paul

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-27-2005
  • Publisher: Books on Tape