The Men Who Built America: Remembering The Gilded Age Part 2

Tyler Durden's picture

Continuing to look back at what once was. Following Part 1's emergence from the civil war and the age of enlightenment, In Part 2 of the 4 part History Channel series, America continues to recover from the Civil War, undertaking the largest building phase of the country s history. While much of the growth is driven by railroads and oil, it's built using steel. From the Civil War to the Great Depression and World War I, for better or worse; for richer or poorer, in ethical and societal sickness or health; these five men - John D. Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan - led the way.


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DJ Happy Ending's picture

Fuck the gilded age. It led directly to 1913.

prains's picture

Americans need more of this stuff to help them feel better about themselves and how they haven't fucked everything up.

Like part 1 did, nothing helps more than historical revisionism, it's like a soothing balm for the soul and helps everyone forget that really america is about indiscriminate killing of brown people 

by remote controlled drones.


Somewhere in america there is always a football game on because that's what really matters.



If you can't figure this out for yourself I'm pretty sure your HMO won't cover you for "mild to severe" retardation so my advie to you would be to just 

PUSH ON THROUGH with what few faculties you have left and......good luck

Paul Bogdanich's picture

Whomever wrote this guilded age bullshit story is either a professional propagandist or a twisted fuck.  Yes let's remember the guilded age shall we.  Child labor.  Rampant disease.  Apauling mortality.  China like polution.  Pinkertons killing striking workers.  Towns wiped out and thousands killed because a private dam to create a lake in front of a vacation home burst with no accountability after the fact.  Factories where essentially all the workers died in fires because they were chained in.  Factory towns.  Company men.  Average life expectancy of a working man 55 years.  The subjudation of negros.  Yeah guilded all right but for whom?  You can't go back and these people who romanticize the age have not even done the basic research to see how it was for the vast majority of the population.  Oh but wait, they could give a rats ass about the population.  It's the "icons" they worship.  This recycled slave-owner bullshit story gets old after several hundered years.  Tell it to a house negro somewhere.  I hear there's one in high places.  Just don't wast your breath on us field negros.           

JOYFUL's picture

'field negroes'>>>??? who you kiddin...

niggas don't do 'field work' no more bud...that's what we got latinos for!

EBT n Denalis for me...that's the new 'work song' of the current crew of crop-sharers...; and guess whose crop they sharin!

by the way...55 years ain't a bad span of time to live if you lived them all as a free man...80 some years of slavery in the FEMA CAMP MERIKA comin down the pike doesn't sound like much of a counter offer!

francis_sawyer's picture

Worst bunch of propaganda bullshit I've ever seen on TV...


[from Wiki] ~ whose interprettion I agree with in this case:


The channel now features mostly mainstream reality TV shows with stretched relations to historical events of any kind.

History has in the past, particularly during the 1990s, been jokingly referred to as "The Hitler Channel" [GUESS WHY]

Pinto Currency's picture


Those chaps also known as Pirates of the Potomac.  They looted and built. Built and looted.

kaiserhoff's picture

Better than the usual Commie Jew agit-prop that comes out of New Yawk, but I've never been a fan of the Great Man theory of history.  If not these 5, then it would have been others.  True even with the inventors. 

Read the contrarian literature whenever you can.  Shouldn't be a hard sell to this crowd.  One thing you will learn is that there was active, even vicious competition going on for most of the great "discoveries" of the last centuries.

For everything, there is a season.

francis_sawyer's picture

When HC comes out with a piece on Nikola Tesla, then I'll be impressed... Then again ~ probably not... By the end of the show ~ Tesla would have attributed all his success to Mayer Rothschild...

22winmag's picture

If you say "guilded" one more time, you'll taste the back of my grammar-nazi hand.


Don't step on my romantic, pollyanna vision of pre-1913 America. I'd happily take rampant disease and chattel slavery over what you have today... rampant disease and wage slavery.

straightlinelogic's picture

That should be "Whoever wrote this gilded age bullshit..." In the second sentence, it is again "gilded," not guilded. It is "Appalling," not "Apauling." It is "subjugation," not subjudation. It is "waste," not "wast." You might at least sound like you knew what you were talking about, which you don't, if you knew how to write. No need to thank me for my editing; sheer tedium prevented me from going through your entire post.

midtowng's picture

The gilded age led directly to the most corrupt government the country had ever seen, until now.

Alcoholic Native American's picture

All Praise the job creators.

otto skorzeny's picture

this era marked the beginning of a small group of enormously wealthy men taking the reins of this country through the buying and selling of politicians and we are seeing the culmination of this crony capitalism  reaching its high water mark today.

GMadScientist's picture

B-b-b-but "this era" is the golden age that all libertarians harken back to as the model economy.


LetThemEatRand's picture

All of the Rand worshippers forget that little detail, like they forget that Greenspan was not only Rand's biggest fan but a co-author of some of her works.  It never ceases to amaze me how otherwise intelligent people will tirelessly hold on to their ideology long after the facts have proven it foolish.

akak's picture

Forgive him, Ayn, for he knows not what he says.

otto skorzeny's picture

your obsesssion w Rand is scary-like Hinckley/Jodi Foster scary

akak's picture

His obsession is not actually with Rand, it is with continually knocking down the strawman (strawwoman?) of Rand that he has created within his own sordid and fevered imagination, most likely via vile misrepresentations of her and her work fed to him through the anti-freedom, anti-free-thinking propaganda of statist professors.  Never having read anything by Rand by his own admission, it could hardly be otherwise.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, no one can dislike her if he really knows her, right?  Hero worship much?

akak's picture

Having a blind and raging dislike for somebody whom you do not really know, nor understand, borders on ... faith.

Ropingdown's picture

I thought Rand was interesting right up until I learned she lived out her life accepting free Medicare health coverage.  The most devoted Randian I know holds himself out as a heroic capitalist, when in fact all the money in the house comes from his foreign wife's gangster dad.  It's like a strange inside-out version of a cargo cult: "I tout this glory-myth version of business, so it's OK that I've got all this money, isn't it?"

Oh, and the five in the TV series left out Tom Scott, who really got the whole thing going by winning the Civil War logistically and founding the first (sizeable) 'general charter' corporation.  He gave the steel rail contracts to his assistant Andrew Carnegie, who in turn, surprise, became a fabulously wealthy steel producer.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Most of the people running the country consider her a hero.   We almost had a Vice President who said she inspired him to office.  We have an increasingly popular Senator who changed his name in her honor.  And if I insult her childish hateful philosophy here, I draw a shit ton of responses from her loving fans.  

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Idaho Senate's Education Committee, introduced legislation that would require every Idaho high school student to read 'Atlas Shrugged' and pass an exam on the book to graduate."

Yen Cross's picture

  Hey Rand. AKAK is good shit. The rest of those "Red Coats" are questionable.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, has built his political philosophy on Rand’s work; for years, he gave away copies of her novels as Christmas presents and made them required reading for his staffers."

LetThemEatRand's picture

 In a 1966 letter, Ronald Reagan wrote, “Am an admirer of Ayn Rand …”

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson calls “Atlas Shrugged” his “foundational book,” and the Republican said in a 2010 debate the novel is “a warning of what could happen to America.”

Each year, Justice Clarence Thomas hosts a screening of the 1949 film version of Rand’s novel, “The Fountainhead,” for his four new law clerks.

Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian candidate for president, gave his fiancée a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” when they started dating, and told her, “If you want to understand me, read this.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford penned an essay for Newsweek, “Atlas Hugged,” just months after his affair was exposed in 2009. He said he was “blown away” by Rand’s novels in the ’80s, but “since then, I’ve grown more critical of Rand’s outlook because it doesn’t include the human needs we have for grace, love, faith, or any form of social compact.”

cxl9's picture

You sound a lot like someone who signs the back of a government check. Hope that keeps working out for ya'.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Of course, if I don't like Rand I must be a moocher.  You people have one fucking gear. 

otto skorzeny's picture

who gives a fuck-hank ford thought "Mein Kampf" was a great read but he still made a hell of a car

Joe A's picture

Hitler had a photo of Ford on one of his desks. Many of America's elite had a soft spot for uncle Adolf.

kaiserhoff's picture

And Roosevelt just adored "Uncle Joe" Stalin.  So what's your point?

williambanzai7's picture

They are all a bunch of hypocritical pseudo-Randian pussys. When push comes to shove, they all run for cover by creating some half baked bullshit excuse like Ryan did.

LetThemEatRand's picture

I recognize no difference between "pseudo-Randian" and "Randian", because every Randian I have ever enountered is merely a self-centered egomaniac who uses her philosophy to justify their own shitty behavior.  Greenspan is the perfect example of a Randian in practice.  

otto skorzeny's picture

the only things of substance politicians have ever built is a web of lies and a pile of debt

eclectic syncretist's picture

There is a certain intolerance in Rand's work and philosophy, "objective self-interest", that makes many people who follow her stuff assholes.

JOYFUL's picture

Yes...but at least  she was consistent in her objective self interest...

the idealized icon who called others 'looters, parasites, and mooches' took pains to make sure that she received social security and medicare benefits(in the name of Ann O'Connor.)

Few indeed would have the boldness to such level of hypocrisy.

olto's picture


I didn't know any of the above, but now that I do----it is easier to understand why the u s is so retarded; it is a country run by retards. I really enjoyed Rand when I was 16, but when I got in to the real world----all those red-blooded Randers truly wanted was 'yes men' that would kiss their asses.

I went off on my own and became a great failure all by myself,

and I never had to kiss a single Rand ass!

bunnyswanson's picture

  • Two new biographies of Rand— Goddess of the Market by Jennifer Burns and Ayn Rand and the World She Madeby Anne Heller—try to puzzle out this question, showing how her arguments found an echo in the darkest corners of American political life. * But the books work best, for me, on a level I didn't expect. They are thrilling psychological portraits of a horribly damaged woman who deserves the one thing she spent her life raging against: compassion.

    Alisa Rosenbaum (her original name) was born in the icy winter of czarism, not long after the failed 1905 revolution ripped through her home city of St. Petersburg. Her father was a self-made Jewish pharmacist, while her mother was an aristocratic dilettante who loathed her three daughters. She would tell them she never wanted children, and she kept them only out of duty. Alisa became a surly, friendless child. 

    In elementary school, her class was asked to write an essay about why being a child was a joyous thing. She instead wrote "a scathing denunciation of childhood," headed with a quote from Pascal: "I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise."

    But the Rosenbaums' domestic tensions were dwarfed by the conflicts raging outside. The worst anti-Jewish violence since the Middle Ages was brewing, and the family was terrified of being killed by the mobs—but it was the Bolsheviks who struck at them first. After the 1917 revolutions, her father's pharmacy was seized "in the name of the people." For Alisa, who had grown up surrounded by servants and nannies, the Communists seemed at last to be the face of the masses, a terrifying robbing horde. In a country where 5 million people died of starvation in just two years, the Rosenbaums went hungry. Her father tried to set up another business, but after it too was seized, he declared himself to be "on strike." 


    Try:  Google G-o-o-g-l-e  search:  Ayn Rand  damaged, addicted to diet pills, ruined her lover when he left.

GMadScientist's picture

Yup....wanna-be aristocrat with mommy issues...that's Ayn to a 'T'.

LetThemEatRand's picture

"BB&T Bank gave Millions to Spread Ayn Rand's philosopy by Grants to Colleges & Universities"

LetThemEatRand's picture

"Among the other groups the Koch brothers donated to were the Heartland Institute, the climate change-skeptical think tank, which received $25,000; the Federalist Society, which got $260,000; and the Ayn Rand Institute, which took in $100,000."

JOYFUL's picture

I admire your persistence in pursuing your theme against a tough crowd...and no, not everybody here associates that theme with being 'a moocher' ...

but your koch bros reference is a perfect example of how to miss the big story in pursuit of the minor details...yes they fund the anti-global warming scam 'Heartland Institute' -they also fund the warmists...

the big moneymasters have no allegiance to anything other than big money...political ideologies are playdough for them, that they use to fashion into fascinating toys for dull girls n boys to play into their hands with.

They might have even funded this tv program - who's idolized icons were earlier incarnations of the same moneymaster monster mold.

Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum was a hebraic russian trotskyite, imported into the Chicago sionist setting where from she was unleashed to run amok in 'heartland america' with a program of phony fondness for free enterprise

...writing turgid prose designed to set the minds of impressionable youth afire with a febrile egoism which would break down their fellow-felling and solidarity with the(largely Europoid)society they lived in and set up the course by which, nearly a century later, a mongrel acolyte of the mafia trained public enemy Saul Alinsky could be used as a front man for a neo-con putsch by to finally take over and destroy the once mighty Republic by making it lap dog of the sionazi masters of mischief who they all work for.




falak pema's picture

good ole Joy, he has ONE eyeglass from which to analyse the world.

If he had been a ROman oligarch like Cato of old, he would have ALWAYS sung "Carthagem delenda est!"

It was the only thing Cato ever sang; and he got his way !

Now aint that cute? History written for eternity by the ruling class! Vae Victis!

Just like the men who MADE the USA the men who MADE republican Rome, were tainted with the same selective hubris and same Oligarchy agenda.

Well, at least they had an excuse then, they were at the beginning of a two thousand five hundred year thread we call "civilization"...

Bogey man, bogey man...its a song that every hegemony has ever sung since Achilles faced Hector! Troy had to fall!

If God didn't exist we would have had to invent Him, as said Voltaire,  rhymes with :  if my ENEMY didn't exist I would have to define him EVEN OUT OF THIN AIR ; LIKE A GREENBACKED FIAT PULLED OUT OF MY ONE AND ONLY HEGEMONIAL FED a terrorist who threatens world order; and what a world ORDER it is! 

How we continue to play the same old tune is a measure of our own lack of discernment. Take the path of least resistance man! Not saying that song if played with good judgement is not relevant, but to sing only ONE song to define the moment?

What happened to dialetical balance, two sides of the coin?

JOYFUL's picture

From the confines of your padded cell, er, "study", I suppose the world may look a benign and harmless place...
For those of us who must travel the paths of life less shielded and more wary, it has many cruel vicissitudes and perils.
Please ring the buzzer when you wish your tray removed squire!

falak pema's picture

thank thee very kindly, 

lol, I like your logic except for ONE TINY anamoly...

Yen Cross's picture

 I watched all the "History Channel Series". It's not (quite)the same when your family lived it.   The Limeys left, after the Civil War, but Americans rebuilt everything! ( Immigration was welcome) to fire the Industrial Age.  I welcome [LEGAL IMIGRATION]

   I might just put together a piece for Z/H readers. I will be unbiased.


Pseudo Anonym's picture

i didnt watch this

... "History Channel Series".

who sponsored it and paid for production?  is it the victors writing, history to make them look like heroes instead of robbers and swindlers?  who was it that said behind every great fortune is even greater crime?

Yen Cross's picture

 Pseudo, History Channel is the most Liberal TV publication on planet Earth.  ( Just LIKE YOU) Even Liberals make some screen worthy material. 

  Pot call Kettle Black/ Pseudo, History Channel does reruns on Global Warming from 5 years ago! ( Al Gore crap)

Pseudo Anonym's picture

thanks for the info. i got tied up watching my favs in joolywood getting oskikes.  but i'll make sure i watch the global warming series because this winter's been kinda warm so al gore might be onto something. did you know he  even invented internet for us?  wow.  where would zh be without al gore.  that guy is so under-appreciated for all his work he's done for us.