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Read online or Download The Merchant of Power: Sam Insull, Thomas Edison, and the Creation of the Modern Metropolis (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by John F. Wasik



Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250089120
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
06/30/2015
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
217,902
File size:
808 KB

Overview

A timely rags-to-riches story, The Merchant of Power recounts how Sam Insull--right hand to Thomas Edison--went on to become one of the richest men in the world, pivotal in the birth of General Electric and instrumental in the creation of the modern metropolis with his invention of the power grid, which still fuels major cities today. John Wasik, awarded the National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism, had unprecedented access to Sam Insull's archives, which include private correspondence with Thomas Edison. The extraordinary fall of a man extraordinary for his time is revealed in this cautionary tale about the excesses of corporate power.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sam Insull is the forgotten energy tycoon of the early 20th century. As Wasik, a columnist for Bloomberg News, relates, Insull came to America from England in 1881 with $200 in his pocket to be Thomas Edison's private secretary and died in a Paris metro station in 1938 with 84 cents in his pocket. In between, he helped Edison light up New York and moved to Chicago, where he built a corporate empire that raised his personal worth to over $150 million ($1.7 billion in today's dollars); then he lost everything in the Great Depression. The collapse of his companies made him the b te noire of thousands of his now destitute Chicago shareholders and, according to the author, a model for Orson Welles's Citizen Kane. Wasik notes that Insull was instrumental in two fundamental shifts in American history: first, his innovations in the delivery of electric power made possible the consumer age; second, the failure of his financial empire became a basis for the New Deal laws that now govern much of corporate America. Wasik writes well, and Insull is a complex man whose life and times make worthwhile reading. B&w photos. (Mar. 16) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Related Subjects

  • ">Businesspersons & Entrepreneurs - Biography
  • ">Corporations & Enterprises - General & Miscellaneous
  • ">Energy Industry - History
  • ">Utilities - Electricity
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