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The Men Who Built America
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1/24/2015 5:24:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I just finished watching a fantastic mini-series on Netflix called 'The Men Who Built America'.
In short, I found it to be an excellent production. The first episode covers Cornelius Vanderbilt who parlayed his success in the steamboat business to become a railroad tycoon, and John D. Rockefeller who started Standard Oil. The most fascinating aspect of that episode is the fact that Vanderbilt was the man responsible for Rockefeller's success. Without his decision to use Rockefeller's oil, Rockefeller wouldn't be the man he is known as today. Furthermore, I wasn't aware of just how rich these guys really were! At one point, Rockefeller was worth over 225 Billion Dollars by today's standard. That's insane.
In episode 2 the audience is introduced to Andrew Carnegie, in episode 3 we are introduced to J.P. Morgan and his pursuits involving Edison and Tesla. It also goes into presidential hopeful - William Jennings Bryan who declared war on monopolies. In each episode we are shown the politics that these men played, as well as the battles they faced both against each other and against other upstarts. In the final episode of the series we see Carnegie, Rockefeller and Morgan come together to put President McKinley into office. The show closes with each man's defeat (aside from Morgan who bought out Carnegie for 480 million - 13.6 billion by today's standards).
Ultimately, the show was highly interesting to me because it allowed for a glimpse into the personal development of each of these men as they were growing up and first starting out. The show features modern leaders of industry such as Donald Trump, John D. Rockefeller IV, Mark Cuban, Ted Turner, etc., giving their insight and opinions on each of these men as well as their own advice in terms of achieving the degree of success that they've earned.
If anyone is interested in any of these great men, or simply interested in the fantastic monopolies and wealth that were built between the civil war and the time of President Theodore Roosevelt, I highly suggest watching this series on Netflix. It was honestly a 5/5 in my opinion.