The story of the development of the Rockefeller/Standard Oil monopoly does not bear primarily on the factors of supply and markets, although these were important elements, but on the ability to move oil from well to refinery to customer cheaply and certainly. This ability, developed to a consummate degree, was in the hands of the first John D., a weapon not precisely ""secret"", but lethal not only to his hapless competitors but to any shipping interest that opposed him. With admirable thoroughness and a style which illuminates a less-than-luminous subject, Mr. Carr brings us from the first well at Titusville to 1961. He shows how Rockefeller controlled great railroads with the ease of a bright child operating an electric train. We see John D. hit one of his best golf drives after reading a telegram informing him that one of his companies had been fined twenty nine million dollars. The narrative is not slowed by long stretches of detail. These are covered in 17 appendices and there is a good bibliography. It is a sound job and one suspects that the subject would have concurred.