STUDY IN POWER by Allan Nevins


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Dr. Nevins is inevitably the biographer who should do a definitive life of John D. Rockefeller. As author of the now out of print John D. Rockefeller, as student of forces molding American history, he has been granted access to letters in the files of Standard Oil, from 1870-1896, he has been supplied with new material from the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, the Medical Institute. The book which has grown out of this background, is both portrait and study of Rockefeller's career and contribution to American business, American philanthropy, and the relation of business to government. While to some extent this is a sympathetic study of the man, it is not a whitewashing job, but is in the main- objective, though, through selection of illustrative incidents, it tends to be on the side of the angels. Family background, education, early business training, and the infant oil industry provide the springboard for a more intensive as well as extensive- handling of the growth of Standard Oil, the successive court fights which punctuated that history, and the business transactions of a career that compassed many aspects of the young industrial nation. The philanthropy which characterized his later years is shown as having deeper roots than some biographers give him credit for. And the family portrait, the strict upbringing which has born its own fruit, the relations with other magnates of his times, all come in for balanced attention. Doubtless an important, space-worthy book, but one which will find its market in libraries, business reference sholves, and the personal libraries of oil men, rather- than in the hands of the average reader of biography.

Publisher: Scribner