"There are worse men than John D. Rockefeller," Arena magazine observed at the turn of the century. "There is probably not one however, who in the public mind so typifies the grave and startling menace to social order." The son of a flamboyant bigamist and pedlar of patent medicine, Rockefeller was by then America's richest man, the mastermind and creator of the country's first and most powerful monopoly: the Standard Oil Company. Reaching into every household across America, Standard Oil controlled 90 per cent of all oil refined in the US, as well as its production, transportation, marketing and distribution. The story of Rockefeller, is one of a pivotal moment in US history: the shift, after the Civil War, from small-scale business to economy of scale and the development of the first modern corporation. This biography explores that transition in all its nuances - the rise in labour militancy, the tabloid press and large-scale philanthropy.