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blacbird
11-25-2012, 09:58 AM
Anybody watch this history series? I caught a big chunk of it tonight, and found it really riveting TV. Very well done.

caw

angeliz2k
11-25-2012, 05:50 PM
I just saw this on TV yesterday. They showed all 6 hours, and I was kind of in and out, watching and cleaning the apartment at the same time.

It really was fascinating. I liked that they chose a select group of men to follow closely, using them to tell the story. The men--Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Morgan--certainly had fascinating stories to tell. For me, it's a really boring period of history. The Captains of Industry--or Robber Barons--were by far the most interesting part.

It's also a great reminder of how quickly things changed in this country after the Civil War, and that it wasn't necessarily done gently. These guys were ruthless.

LadyV
11-25-2012, 06:13 PM
I watched it a couple weeks ago. I'm not typically a big history person, but I was hooked. I really liked the way they did this series. Ruthless is the proper word to describe these men. Henry Frick was a heartless bastard. Yet he has a park and a museum named after him after here in Pittsburgh.

maxmordon
11-25-2012, 08:49 PM
My father works on the art department of the series. :) They are shooting season 2 at the moment set on the expansion to the west.

djrashn
11-25-2012, 09:08 PM
I watched this a couple of weeks ago with my family, we thought it was amazing. I didn't know most of what they showed, but it was sad to see we're headed back that way after 100 yrs.

DeleyanLee
11-26-2012, 12:52 AM
I figured they'd do the Johnstown Flood, but I was really glad they included the Battle of Homestead. Lots of history books want to glaze over that little tidbit.


Henry Frick was a heartless bastard. Yet he has a park and a museum named after him after here in Pittsburgh.

And I think if you check, you'll find that most of the things named for Frick was because of his granddaughter's largesse (Helen Clay Frick, not Henry Clay Frick). She was a great patron of the arts and gave back to the city while her grandfather took his money to NYC.

(Dele is also in Pittsburgh ;) )

blacbird
11-26-2012, 08:54 AM
Carnegie and, eventually, Rockefeller dived deeply into philanthropy in their latter years. Even then, in the case of Rockefeller, it does seem like he still tried to win the great competition to be the greatest giver. One of the key points made in the series was that, at the end, all these mega-moguls had so much wealth they couldn't even figure out how to invest it. The figures, comparative to today's richest people, were just plain staggering. Rockefeller alone controlled something on the order of ten times the maximum wealth of Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. But it's also fair about backgrounds; the point is clearly made that Carnegie and Rockefeller started with nothing, and built their empires on smarts and energy, as well as ruthlessness about competition.

J.P. Morgan, the other member of this holy trinity, just comes off ultimately as the completely cold, manipulative, power-driven sociopathic son-of-a-bitch. In stark contrast to Carnegie and Rockefeller, he started with a millionaire banker father, who dominated him to the end of his life, and maybe ultimately turned him into what he became. The other two major moguls outlived Morgan, which suggests that there may be a God, after all.

This series has so much rich detail that it's not really summarizable. It features the roles of Edison, Tesla, George Westinghouse, William McKinley, William Jennings Bryan, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Schwab, Henry Ford, much much other stuff. And in wonderful addition, it's fabulously entertaining. I recommend it most highly for everybody.

caw

LadyV
11-27-2012, 03:43 AM
And I think if you check, you'll find that most of the things named for Frick was because of his granddaughter's largesse (Helen Clay Frick, not Henry Clay Frick). She was a great patron of the arts and gave back to the city while her grandfather took his money to NYC.

(Dele is also in Pittsburgh ;) )
Good to know. Like I said, history is not my strong point. :)