The great age of American entrepreneurship produced the “robber barons,” men who exercised an enormous influence on the nation's psychology. What these men thought―or thought they thought―is the subject of Mr. Kirkland's original and provocative book. Immersing himself in the statements and writings of businessmen of the era, he explores their views of the social and economic scene, their interest in higher education, and their unease with wasteful and inefficient government. In distilling their dreams and thought, Mr. Kirkland does not pass judgment on whether their actions measured up to their words. "Kirkland's book demonstrates that history can be provocative and even colorful when written with urbanity rather than partisanship.…His book deserves widespread attention by historians and businessmen alike."―American Historical Review. "Brightly written and thoughtful…a stimulating integration of economic and social history."―Journal of American History.