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May 25

Breaking Rockefeller: The Incredible Story of the Ambitious Rivals Who Toppled an Oil Empire

Marcus Samuel, Jr., is an unorthodox Jewish merchant trader. Henri Deterding is a take-no-prisoners oilman. In 1889, John D. Rockefeller is at the peak of his power. Having annihilated all competition and possessing near-total domination of the market, even the U.S. government is wary of challenging the great “anaconda” of Standard Oil. The Standard never loses – that is until Samuel and Deterding team up to form Royal Dutch Shell.

At the beginning of the 20th Century vast fortunes were made and lost. Breaking Rockefeller traces Samuel’s rise from outsider to the heights of the British aristocracy, Deterding’s conquest of America, and the collapse of Rockefeller’s monopoly. From the rough and tumble of East London’s streets, the twilight turmoil of czarist Russia, the halls of the British Parliament, to down Broadway in New York City, Peter Doran offers a detailed perspective on how the world’s richest man was beaten at his own game.

Peter B. Doran is Vice President for Research at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), where he leads the center’s energy horizons and defense programs. He is also the author of the popular “History of Oil” podcast on iTunes. A recognized expert on international affairs and national security, his articles have appeared in Foreign Policy, Defense News, National Review, The American Spectator, and the Journal of Energy Security. His analysis and commentary are regularly featured in U.S. and European media. He holds a Master's degree from Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies.

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Peter B. Doran
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Luke Coffey Luke Coffey

Director, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Read More