For over two centuries, these things have been a goal for many Americans, and many Americans have successfully reached that goal. However, there are many paths one could take to reach that success. Who then is just in determining which paths are acceptable and unacceptable? John D. Rockefeller once said, "If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success." In the 1800's many industrialists like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie were seen as horrific corrupt people because of how they achieved success in their businesses. However, these businessmen were not the Robber Barons that everyone viewed them as. Their fortune was earned, and they were not greedy or corrupt men. These industrialists were driven by intellect and a desire to improve their own lives and the lives of others.
Many saw the industrialists as bullies to other businesses and consumers. Attacks were made about their morals and character by infuriated outsiders. While referencing John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil Company, Ida Tarbell said," Religious emotion and sentiments of charity, propriety and self-denial seem to have taken the place in him of notions of justice and regard for the rights of others."1 Falsely correlating Rockefeller's keen business sense to a corrupt character shows Tarbell's extreme dedication to "expose" Rockefeller; she went to great lengths to learn about his character and behaviors. Tarbell's opinion was extremely biased. She did not observe Rockefeller with an inquisitive mind; her purpose was to find his problems, his character flaws, and any inappropriate behavior so she could expose it to everyone. A man's personal life is slightly relevant to the type of business he may run, but a home life and a work life are never one in the same. Tarbell related Rockefeller's character to his business tactics because the Standard Oil Company grew by taking in other companies.