What we think of as the modern American economy was the creation of four men: Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P. Morgan. They were the giants of the Gilded Age, and lived at a moment of riotous growth—and real violence—that established America as the richest, most inventive, and most productive country on the planet. They are, quite literally, the founding fathers of our economy—and, thus, of modern America.
Acclaimed author and journalist Charles R. Morris vividly brings these four men to life. On one side are Carnegie, the ruthless competitor; Gould, the provocateur in the shadows; and Rockefeller, the visionary who understood how to manage sprawling empires. These three were obsessed with progress, experiment, and speed. In steel, railroads, oil, and money markets, they rallied behind a single-minded code: bigger, cheaper, faster. And then there was Morgan, the gentleman businessman, who fought, instead, for a global trust in American business. Through their competition over the last decades of the nineteenth century, they built a powerful nation populated with consumers as well as producers, fostering the growth of the middle class. The Tycoons tells the incredible story of how four determined men wrenched the economy into the modern age, inventing a nation of full economic participation that could not have been imagined only a few decades earlier.