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Railroads and Regulation, 1877-1916 Paperback – September 17, 1970


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Railroads and Regulation, 1877-1916 + The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916 + The Age of War: The United States Confronts the World
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (September 17, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393005313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393005318
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Brockway on April 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Gabriel Kolko, a left-leaning historian, wrote his Ph.D. thesis to identify the forces that brought railroads under regulation at the end of the 19th century. Surprise, surprise, it was the railroad barons themselves who eventually sought regulation (and thereby brought it about). Kolko recounts the customer protests against high rates, especially for short-haul service, and the cycles of boom and bust, when competition caused railroads to overbuild, and then underprice their services. The railroad industry eventually sought regulation as a means of dividing up the market and ending ruinous competition. This is a great read, and debunks the common view that Teddy Roosevelt and the progressives, acting at the urging of angry farmers and other customers, forced government to assert regulatory control over the railroads. Readers will want to read McDonald's biography of Samuel Insull, and various biographies of Theodore N. Vail, who pulled off the same transformations in the electric and telecommunications industries, respectively, around the same time.
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