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Taking on the Trust by Steven Weinberg *** (of 4)

This is the story of how Ida Tarbell, one of the first women to attend Allegheny College, probably the first woman to be a paid staff writer for a magazine, and surely the first investigative journalist in the world took on John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil of Ohio and the richest man of his time. The history is compelling, but Weinberg in his efforts to emulate Tarbell’s impartiality delivers a lot more facts than drama. The conflict between the two, and the story of how a woman from a small town in northwestern PA could bring so low one of the world’s most powerful men passes without much tension. June 2009.