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.
©2005 Les Standiford; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.
"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)
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.
I don't know if it's the reader or the story, but I couldn't even make it halfway through this book. I'm very interested in this period of US history, but this book just slogged on, trying to fit into the template of best-selling popular history books with narrative, background info, biography, etc.
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.
An unfortunately workmanlike straight accounting of facts with little colorful digression. The narrator is good but can't do much with the material. If you have a specific historical interest it will inform you, but in any case it will not entertain you.
If you like the steel business this is a good option. Especially of early US labor relations.
David Nasaw's biography of Carnegie is a more complete picture of the man.
Highly recommended. Compelling, exciting, fair, and balanced review of the steel magnates' impact on Pittsburgh, the nation, and the international community!
Andrew Carnegie is still the favorite but this book does justice to Henry Clay Frick's background, sources of tension with Carnegie, and more than adequately explains Frick's final and bitter disposition.
Too many to count!
If you like history, particularly Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania history, this is a must. Incredibly well-done!
This is very interesting book however there is huge mistake in a fact that needs to be amended. The Saugus Iron Works is in Massachusetts not Michigan as stated by the narrator. While listening to this there are similarities in the facts between Atlas Shrugged and this book.
It made wonder if the lives of the characters were the basis of the book?
There is also some embelishment of Carneigie's charity. It is rumored that the only reason the charities were started was because he did not want the goverment to get any of his money.
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