Too Fantastic to Be True

Even when the “final solution” became apparent, why did the ...


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Ida M. Tarbell

Ida Tarbell (1857–1944) was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, and grew up in the western region of the state where oil fields were discovered in 1860. Her father’s small oil-producing business in Titusville was destroyed by the monopolizing schemes of the Standard Oil Company. She studied at Allegheny College, then became a teacher; but she soon turned to writing and after working in the United States and in France was offered the editorship of McClure’s Magazine. Tarbell began her reporting on Standard Oil in the November 1902 issue. Her exposé, the first corporate reporting of its kind, established her as one of the leading “muckrakers” of the Progressive Era, and her book The History of the Standard Oil Company became a classic. She died of pneumonia in Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1944.