To Americans living in the early twentieth century, E. H. Harriman was as familiar a name as J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie. Like his fellow businessmen, Harriman (1847-1909) had become the symbol for an entire industry: Morgan stood for banking, Rockefeller for oil, Carnegie for iron and steel, and Harriman for railroads. Here, Maury Klein offers the first in-depth biography in more than seventy-five years of this influential yet surprisingly understudied figure.
A Wall Street banker until age fifty, Harriman catapulted into the railroad arena in 1897, gaining control of the Union Pacific Railroad as it emerged from bankruptcy and successfully modernizing every aspect of its operation. He went on to expand his empire by acquiring large stakes in other railroads, including the Southern Pacific and the Baltimore and Ohio, in the process clashing with such foes as James J. Hill, J. P. Morgan, and Theodore Roosevelt.
With its new insights into the myths and controversies that surround Harriman's career, this book reasserts his legacy as one of the great turn-of-the-century business titans.
Originally published 2000.
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