Industrial History
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Paperback      ISBN: 1400077303
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Alexander Hamilton here is the essential, endlessly engrossing biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.--the Jekyll-and-Hyde of American capitalism. In the course of his nearly 98 years, Rockefeller was known as both a rapacious robber baron, whose Standard Oil Company rode roughshod over an industry, and a philanthropist who donated money lavishly to universities and medical centers. He was the terror of his competitors, the bogeyman of reformers, the delight of caricaturists--and an utter enigma.

Drawing on unprecedented access to Rockefeller's private papers, Chernow reconstructs his subjects' troubled origins (his father was a swindler and a bigamist) and his single-minded pursuit of wealth. But he also uncovers the profound religiosity that drove him "to give all I could"; his devotion to his father; and the wry sense of humor that made him the country's most colorful codger. Titan is a magnificent biography--balanced, revelatory, elegantly written.
Hetty: The Genius and Madness of America's First Female Tycoon
The Genius and Madness of America's First Female Tycoon
Hardcover      ISBN: 006054256x

A full century before Martha Stewart, Oprah, and Madonna became icons, generations before women swept through Wall Street, and decades before they even had the right to vote, there was Hetty Green, America's richest woman, who stood alone among the roguish giants of the Gilded Age as the first lady of capitalism and is remembered as the Witch of Wall Street.

At the time of her death in 1916, Hetty Green's personal fortune was estimated at $100 million ($1.6 billion today), and the financial empire she built on real estate and railroads rivaled that of Andrew Carnegie, Jay Gould, J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, and some of the nation's biggest banks. Today, Hetty Green ranks near the top of America's list of greatest financiers, in company with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and billionaire-investor Warren Buffett. But in history books she has remained merely a footnote, a miser and an eccentric, whose character flaws and personal choices unjustly overshadowed her remarkable accomplishments on the fierce battlefield of American industry and commerce.

In Hetty, Charles Slack reexamines the life, work, and conflicted legacy of the exceptionally resourceful, ruthless, and inimitable woman who turned a comfortable inheritance into a fortune through instinct, courage, cunning, greed, and determination to succeed at a man's game on her own terms: from her childhood in the Quaker community of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where she learned about business by reading financial papers to her father, to the battle over her inheritance that was one of the most controversial legal cases of her time; from her collisions with railroad magnate Collis Huntington to her rescue of New York City from financial ruin.

Looking well beyond the lore and historical prejudices, Charles Slack presents a full portrait of a true American original, a female Citizen Kane who, having turned away from the conventions of her time, as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a mogul, led a life of a different sort, with occasionally tragic results, becoming both a hero and a victim of her era. Above all, it is a story of an uncompromising, larger-than-life, flawed woman who ruled a vast financial empire but was known, simply, as Hetty.

Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Oil Empire
Breaking Rockefeller
The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Oil Empire
Paperback      ISBN: 0143130005
The incredible tale of how ambitious oil rivals Marcus Samuel, Jr. and Henri Deterding joined forces to topple the Standard Oil empire

Marcus Samuel, Jr., is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great "anaconda" of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses--that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell.

A riveting account of ambition, oil, and greed, Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel's rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding's conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller's monopoly. The beginning of the twentieth century is a time when vast fortunes were made and lost. Taking readers through the rough and tumble of East London's streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, to the halls of the British Parliament, and right down Broadway in New York City, Peter Doran offers a richly detailed, fresh perspective on how Samuel and Deterding beat the world's richest man at his own game.

"Gripping . . . timely . . . a vivid reminder of the dangers of monopolies, and of the merits of no-holds barred competition and technological upheaval." --The Economist
Wedgwood: The First Tycoon
The First Tycoon
Hardcover      ISBN: 0670033464

With its familiar white classical figures against a pale-blue background, Wedgwood has been one of the most recognizable brand names in the world for more than two hundred yearsathe epitome of quality and luxuryaand the Enlightenmentas most remarkable success story.

Born into a family of struggling potters, Josiah Wedgwood amassed a fortune that, at his death in 1795, was valued at the equivalent of $3.4 billion in todayas dollars and helmed an empire that stretched from England to Russia to the United States. As a member of the famous Lunar Society, whose members included James Watt, Joseph Priestley, and Erasmus Darwin, he combined rationality with bold experimentation, revolutionizing the business model of his time with a series of innovations that have continued to this day:
a Organizing skilled labor in one of the worldas earliest factories
a Encouraging employee loyalty by offering long-term contracts that included health insurance and pension plans
a Changing the very notion of shopping by utilizing showrooms and traveling salesmen
The story of how phenomenal wealth affected the lives of a family and of the turbulent political climate that threatened their very livelihood, this vivid and compelling portrait of a pioneer of commercial culture is sure to be a hit with loyal collectors and the business market alike.

Abandoned Arkansas: An Echo from the Past
Abandoned Arkansas
An Echo from the Past
Paperback      ISBN: 1634990978

If you have ever driven by a building and wondered what has happened within its walls, you know what drives Abandoned Arkansas. Every day neglected structures are on the verge of being demolished or in desperate need of renovation. Join Michael Schwarz, Eddy Sisson, Ginger Beck, and James Kirkendall through the forgotten history of the Natural State, from the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs to Dogpatch USA, an abandoned theme park once loved by thousands. Travel to decayed places around the state and bear witness to the vandalism, weathering, and slow death of countless historic buildings. It's simultaneously heartbreaking and captivating. Through historic documentation, these photographers hope to immortalize the stories of the places they visit beyond the building's finite lifespan, and to preserve an echo from the past.
To see over 150 locations and more photos from abandoned places around the state, please visit

Abandoned Baltimore: Southside
Abandoned Baltimore
Paperback      ISBN: 1634991907

Baltimore, Maryland is a city full of history and cultural diversity. However, through the years, the area has been plagued with poverty and forced gentrification that has left the once bustling city into a state of disarray. There are over 16,000 vacant rowhomes within Baltimore. Crime rate is on a rise while population is on decline. Through all the mayhem, many incredible places have been simply disregarded and forgotten about. Many streets that were once full of life now resemble that of an apocalyptic wasteland. Within the southern side of Baltimore lies many tourist destinations such as the inner harbor, and the football and baseball stadiums. While millions of people flock to these areas every year, many are unaware of the disregarded buildings that sit just a few blocks away. Forts that were used to protect the city during the 1800s are now forgotten. Huge industrial buildings that were once vital parts of Baltimore's economy sit vacant with no purpose. Through the lens, photographer Christopher Hall sets out to bring light to what has been left in the dark, and to bring back the forgotten history of the southside of Baltimore City.

Abandoned California: King Solomon Mine
Abandoned California
King Solomon Mine
Paperback      ISBN: 163499132x

Some of the richest gold strikes in California history were found in the areas of Randsburg and Johannesburg, located in the Mojave Desert section of Kern County. The desert is a graveyard of abandoned mines, shafts, pits and tailing dumps. Fortunately, some of these historic old mines are still standing, providing us with a rare and valuable glimpse into the world of those who sought to uncover the hidden treasure of gold in the earth. Few got rich and many died paupers in the search for the shiny yellow mineral, yet the burning fever to hit that big strike kept luring men and women to California from all points of the globe. It was a time of "all or nothing." The King Solomon Mine is one of those relics of another era still standing, rising from the mountain and casting its long shadow over the debris and abandoned junk cluttering the ground around it. It sits quiet, a sentinel in the desert, waiting in hope for the day when it will come to life again for modern-day gold hunters.

Abandoned Cleveland
Abandoned Cleveland
Paperback      ISBN: 1634990781

Once a thriving city whose economy soared on the backs of industrial powerhouses, and the booming steel industry, Cleveland saw the same fate as many other Rustbelt cities. As factory jobs moved overseas, this great city of culture and prosperity struggled to stay on its feet. A sharp decline in population throughout the 1970s and 80s left Cleveland with a multitude of abandoned structures. Today the city is experiencing a renaissance. However, it's not difficult to find decaying reminders of the city's dramatic rise and fall. It is these relics of the city's past that Jeffrey Stroup strives to capture and preserve through the images in this book.

Abandoned Connecticut: The Twilight of American Industry
Abandoned Connecticut
The Twilight of American Industry
Paperback      ISBN: 1634990595

"What is left after the last embers of an Industrial Revolution finally die? What do we find when we go sifting through the ashes of the past?

Connecticut was home to everything from textile mills to brassworks to coal-fired power plants. As these once-great industries of the American Northeast slowly dried up and gave way to a new landscape, they left behind a string of abandoned, forgotten facilities dotting the state. Now they have become galleries of graffiti, shelter for the homeless, and living museums of an often-clouded past.

In Abandoned Connecticut, photographer J. R. Washburn gives the reader a first-hand account of his time exploring these modern ruins. Over 150 haunting photographs and a running personal narrative put the reader in his mud-covered boots as he experiences the past, present, and future of these icons of American history."

Abandoned Eastern Ohio
Abandoned Eastern Ohio
Paperback      ISBN: 1634991478

Eastern Ohio is a region founded by industrialization that, at its height, would grow to be one of the most important parts of the country. This region would become the manufacturing focal point during both World Wars. Factories throughout Eastern Ohio produced many of the armament components needed to fight these wars. With the approach of the 1980s, the need for manufacturing in the United States dwindled, and the region's population began to decline rapidly. As factories closed and people left, hospitals, hotels, schools and stadiums were all left abandoned. Over time, the area has stabilized, but is far from its former glory. Buildings where presidents once walked and industrial titans reigned now lay abandoned. In Abandoned Eastern Ohio, photographer John Ponchak gives the reader an in-depth view of each building's past and present in an effort to not only preserve, but to share what once was.