"A MASTERPIECE OF JOURNALISM AND AN UNRELENTING INDICTMENT THAT BROUGHT DOWN ONE OF HISTORY'S GREATEST TYCOONS": FIRST EDITION OF IDA TARBELL'S PIONEERING HISTORY OF THE STANDARD OIL COMPANY, 1904
(ROCKEFELLER, John D.) TARBELL, Ida M. The History of the Standard Oil Company. New York: McClure, Phillips, 1904. Two volumes. Octavo, original blind- and gilt-stamped red cloth, top edges gilt.
First edition of investigative journalist Tarbell's definitive two-volume work on Standard Oil, featuring 32 pages of illustrations including frontispiece portraits of Rockefeller, a splendid copy.
Famed as the pioneer of investigative journalism, Tarbell was "one of the most influential muckrakers of the Gilded Age, helping to usher in that age of political, economic and industrial reform known as the Progressive Era. 'They had never played fair,' Tarbell wrote of Standard Oil, 'and that ruined their greatness for me'… Tarbell would redefine investigative journalism with a 19-part series in McClure's magazine, a masterpiece of journalism and an unrelenting indictment that brought down one of history's greatest tycoons and effectively broke up Standard Oil's monopoly. By dint of what she termed 'steady, painstaking work,' Tarbell unearthed damaging internal documents, supported by interviews with employees, lawyers and—with the help of Mark Twain—candid conversations with Standard Oil's most powerful senior executive at the time, Henry H. Rogers, which sealed the company's fate" (Smithsonian). The New York Times rated Tarbell's History of the Standard Oil Company number five in a list of the top 100 works in 20th-century American journalism. First edition, with "Published, November, 1904, N" on copyright page. Containing 30 full-page illustrations, frontispiece in each volume; without rare dust jackets. Serialized in McClure's Magazine. Each volume with embossed owner inkstamp.
Only faint trace of rubbing to bright gilt-stamped cloth. A fine copy.