Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Enjoyable and interesting, but not perfect
on August 31, 2015
This is an excellent treatment of the subject. Chernow spends maybe a little more time psychoanalyzing JD and his family than providing historical narrative, but overall the story is well done, clearly well researched, and well written. To me, the weakest part of the book was Chernow's attempt to discuss the antitrust concepts in play. He seemed a bit confused at times as to what conduct was competition at work and what, under modern standards would be considered anticompetitive. At times he notes the irony that some of SO's biggest critics engaged in the same tactics, but never squares the circle so to speak on what is okay and what is not. For example, is it okay to get a discount from a railroad, or not? Modern antitrust and industrial organization economists would tend to say it is fine, but Chernow writes as if it is a terrible competitive sin. A bit more robust discussion of where JD and SO "crossed the line" would have made the book that much better. But overall I found this to be a good read and recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subject matter.