“Meet You in Hell” by Les Standiford

The history of America includes lots of positive and negative characters that influenced the country and its citizens. At the end of the 19th century during the gilded age, the economy of the country improved and businessmen were holding the power in their hands. Some of them decided to work together to achieve greater success and deal with their opponents jointly. However, such a partnership was not always helpful. Its adverse effect that affected two industrialists (Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick) is a great example. The men who decided to work together to enhance their businesses turned out to become rivals and enemies as they both led to this.

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The book Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership That Transformed America is written by Les Standiford, an American historian, and writer. The author describes how two men worked their ways up from the agreement to disruptive controversy. Standiford pays attention to the fact that the problems faced by the businessmen were caused by both of them, and it is not right to blame only one person.

The partners put their success on a higher level than the lives of their workers. A lot of them were killed and injured while occupying positions at the company. Frick was even attacked by the assassin soon after that, but they were still pretty happy with what they got. However, these people, who seem to be irreverent, did not stop, and they shaped the Unites Stated as we see them now by constant competing. The author describes these people, their attitudes towards the work and friendship for the readers to evaluate the issue and get a clear idea of what has happened.

Of course, the author was not able to write Meet You in Hell without any sources. More than twenty of them were used by Les Standiford to prove his point of view and support ideas. Conveniently they can be divided into two groups: those, which are based on the description of Carnegie’s and Frick’s lives, and those, which concentrates on the peculiarities of the realities of that time. All these sources are authoritative and were used by a range of writers.

They even include Carnegie’s notes. Everything is taken from the well-known libraries such as the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the University of Pittsburgh’s Hillman Library and Reference Library in New York City.

This book does not look like all others that refer to the topic because the story it tells is a bit different, which is of advantage. The majority of historians claim that Frick is the one to be blamed for the poor outcome. However, Standiford has another opinion, and he shares it with the readers. The men are both responsible for the company’s collapse. Even though Frick is said to be guilty of the strike at Homestead, Carnegie was the one who led him and told him what to do.

Being superior at public relations, he got an opportunity to shift the blame. It explains the situation that happened later as Frick was dying and Carnegie came to him to talk. “Tell him I’ll see him in Hell, where we both are going” answered Flick showing that they both had made lots of mistakes and needed to face the consequences (Standiford 94).

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Even though Carnegie and Frick look unpleasant in the book, there was something positive in them. They neglected their workers but put money in libraries, universities, and hospitals. Surely, it does not explain their behavior but let people think of positive traits. Even if they did it only to attract attention and make their names, the positive result cannot be underestimated, which underlines Les Standiford.

It is a story that includes the feelings of other people that is why some subjectivity that is present in the description can be considered its weakness. As the author describes and evaluates the characters of Carnegie and Frick, he also includes his point of view and makes the reader see what he sees. It presupposes particular boundaries that do not allow one to reconsider the issue while reading. We see Carnegie as a person who wants to appeal to everyone and Frick as a spoiled child. Still, I believe that after the second reading the author’s influence will be not that profound.

The weakness of the book can be the way it is written. To my mind, its beginning is not that as exciting as the other parts. It looks dry and lacks some emotional impact that is to encourage further reading.

This book is an excellent source that can be used by students who study the history of America. It shows the situation in the country at the times of the gilded age and underlines the values of people. One can evaluate the way of life and business issues current at the end of the 1800s, the development of the steel industry, and its influence on the economic state of the United States, in particular.

Works Cited

Standiford, Les. Meet You in Hell: Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and the Bitter Partnership that Transformed America, New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2005. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, March 4). "Meet You in Hell" by Les Standiford. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/meet-you-in-hell-by-les-standiford-book-review/

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""Meet You in Hell" by Les Standiford." StudyCorgi, 4 Mar. 2021, studycorgi.com/meet-you-in-hell-by-les-standiford-book-review/.

1. StudyCorgi. ""Meet You in Hell" by Les Standiford." March 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/meet-you-in-hell-by-les-standiford-book-review/.


StudyCorgi. ""Meet You in Hell" by Les Standiford." March 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/meet-you-in-hell-by-les-standiford-book-review/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. ""Meet You in Hell" by Les Standiford." March 4, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/meet-you-in-hell-by-les-standiford-book-review/.


StudyCorgi. (2021) '"Meet You in Hell" by Les Standiford'. 4 March.

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