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Railroad Robber Barons The: The Lives of the Magnates Who Dominated America’s Rail Industry in the 19th Century - cover
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Railroad Robber Barons The: The Lives of the Magnates Who Dominated America’s Rail Industry in the 19th Century

Charles River Editors

Narrator Bill Caufield

Publisher: Charles River Editors

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Summary

The Gilded Age and the dawn of the 20th century are often remembered as an era full of monopolies, trusts, and economic giants in heavy industries like oil and steel. Men like Andrew Carnegie built empires like Carnegie Steel, and financiers like J.P. Morgan merged and consolidated them. The era also made names like Astor, Cooke, and Vanderbilt instantly recognizable across the globe. Over time, the unfathomable wealth generated by the businesses made the individuals on top incredibly rich, and that in turn led to immense criticism and an infamous epithet used to rail against them: robber barons.  
	Dozens of men were called “robber barons”, and the industrial might wielded by some of these men in the late 19th century directly led to a public backlash and made President Teddy Roosevelt the “trust buster”, and there has since been countless regulations to attempt to avoid the types of monopolies found over 100 years ago. However, many 20th century historians and writers pushed back against the allegations hurled at the “robber barons” and even took issue with the name. Libertarian writer John Stossel argued, “They weren't robbers, because they didn't steal from anyone, and they weren't barons - they were born poor...” Ironically, one of America’s most famous robber barons, Andrew Carnegie, epitomized the American Dream, migrating with his poor family to America in the mid-19th century and rising to the top of the business world in his adopted country. And like Carnegie, railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt set a precedent of sorts with his philanthropy, most notably his gift to Vanderbilt University, which bears his name. Similarly, the West Coast's most famous railroad mogul became Leland Stanford, who also bequeathed a prestigious university after making it to the top of the industry.
Duration: about 6 hours (05:33:31)
Publishing date: 2023-05-30; Unabridged; Copyright Year: — Copyright Statment: —