“Robber Barons” the subject of lecture at Florida Southern College

Oct 1, 2014

by Staff

The industrialists of the 19th and 20th centuries are often described as “robber barons,” greedy and ruthless men who piled up fabulous wealth by unscrupulous means. But were they?

Dr. Burton W. Folsom of Hillsdale College will explore that question in the next installment of the Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College. His lecture, “The Myth of the Robber Barons,” will be presented at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Hollis Room of the Buckner Building at FSC. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

In his lecture, Dr. Folsom will shed new light on such captains of industry as Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, and Charles M. Schwab, dividing them into two groups: market entrepreneurs—those who succeeded by producing a quality product at a competitive price—and political entrepreneurs—those who used the power of the government to succeed.

Dr. Folsom is the Charles F. Kline Professor of History and Management at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich. He is the author of several books, including FDR Goes to War and The Myth of the Robber Barons. He is also a columnist and the historian-in-residence at the Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, N.Y.