About the Author

Ida M. TarbellIda Minerva Tarbell (1857-1944) was an American teacher, author and journalist. She was known as one of the leading "muckrakers" of the progressive era, work known in modern times as "investigative journalism". She wrote many notable magazine series and biographies, but is best known for her 1904 book The History of the Standard Oil Company, which was listed as No. 5 in a 1999 list by New York University of the top 100 works of 20th-century American journalism. She became the first woman to take on Standard Oil, beginning her work after her editors at McClure's Magazine called for a story on one of the trusts.


About this E-book

After watching a documentary about the Rockefellers I became intrigued with the impact that Ida Tarbell and her History of the Standard Oil Company had, not only in breaking up "The Standard", but in exposing the monopolistic tendencies of large industry and the vilification of the Rockefeller name for more than a generation. The impact of her work was enormous to say the least. Looking around the Internet, I found very little in the way of digitized, complete and readable versions of both volumes of this seminal work. I did however find scanned and OCR'd versions of the original volumes at archive.org:



The OCR'd text was raw right off the scanner. Much of it was a long way from being useful and readable, so I undertook the (surprisingly large) task of creating out of this mass of text — line by line, paragraph by paragraph and page by page — a complete, organized, readable, with images, charts, appendices, index, fully hyperlinked digital version of both volumes. Now this great and fascinating work can be read anywhere, by anyone and on most any device.

While the 1904 copyright on the orginal work has expired and the text is now public domain, markup of this digital version is copyrighted and all rights are reserved.

—Joe Barta

Previous Table of Contents