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Les Standiford is the author of numerous books of fiction. For some reason, he decided to try to tell the story of Frick and Carnegie. While this book is interesting at points, it fails as a history book for a number of reasons. First, the research the author did (the hardcory has a bibliography) is very limited, and this shows throughout the book. The author knows almost nothing of the age of which he is writing, and thus provides little context for the events and personalities he's describing. What little context he does provide is often wrong. He knows nothing about how a corporation's stock works, so is unable to describe accurately the way Carnegie took control of Frick's company.
The second problem is the number of historical errors. Saugus is in MA, not MI; anthracite was discovered in Eastern PA, not Western, etc etc. He wrongly attributes a bunch of financial speculators from Chicago with "pioneering the invention of vertical integration". Well, if you've only read 5 books on the period and only 2 of them were economic histories, you might make these kind of errors.
Finally, the author fails to explain how America was changed by the relationship of these two men. At the end, he makes a ridiculous attempt to draw lessons for today from his history. He takes a swipe at Wal-Mart for being non-union, as if the role of unions has not changed from Carnegie's time to the present.
There are wonderful books on this fascinating period of American history by qualified writers (John Steele Gordon and David McCullough). This is unforunately not one of them, and Standiford is out of his league here.
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