Summary and Info
Traditional accounts of John D. Rockefeller and the Standard Oil Company, as well as recent best-selling books on the subject, still accept without question charges of unethical and anti-competitive behavior by the American oil industry. In this pathbreaking synthesis of cultural, business, gender, and intellectual history, Roger and Diana Davids Olien explore how this negative image of the petroleum industry was created—and how this image in turn helped shape policy toward the industry in ways that were sometimes at odds with both the goals of reformers and the public interest.By turning a critical eye on sources that have often been accepted at face value and examining the self-interests of oil industry critics, the authors produce a more balanced, complex picture of the industry than has previously been offered. Their case study of the impact of ideology offers a striking example of how business must be understood through its cultural context and offers a new approach to understanding problems of regulation and reform.
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