This is a massive History of Standard Oil Company of California and Predecessors through 1919 based on research over seven years which is believable; no reference is missed, no California oil findings before 1919 neglected, no person contributing to the development of this industry unnamed. Coming to California in 1878, Standard Oil did not really enter the western oil industry until 1900 when it bought the long-established Pacific Oil Company. Beginning with the first discoveries of oil in California, back to the 1850's, and ending with World War I, the book bristles with names and dates, and tells of speculation and wild-catting, litigation and court-rulings, pipelines and refineries and methods of transportation. The author, who considers Ida Tarbell's History of the Standard Oil Company unobjective and lacking in balance, makes an effort to avoid undue bias in most of his statements. But while well written, the book is too lengthy, weighty and specialized for any but the informed and its appeal is to industrial historians, oil experts and technicians, and students of this state's financial development.