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.
"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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A story filled with errors