Born Losers Analysis

1514 Words 7 Pages
Born Losers by Scott A. Sandage is a book that tells about the lives of American men who were so called “losers.” He focuses on the failure of the United States in the nineteenth century and how America moved from a cultivated society to an industrial society. Sandage tells a story about how this switch was painful for some Americans. He referred to the growth of things as big as Standard Oil and he also referred to America’s railroad.
Sandage also focused in on what this growth predicted for the majority of the people in America that were caught in the intersection between small, independent businesses and the giants in the big industries who made it hard for small businessmen to maintain their identities and their honesty and good human
…show more content…
In the beginning of the book, Sandage focuses on the funeral of Henry David Thoreau whose eulogy is delivered by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson may have respected and valued Thoreau but he said that Thoreau was far from being successful. Emerson identified him as “the captain of a huckleberry-party” and went on to say that Thoreau tried but he did not give his continued attention: “teacher, surveyor, pencil maker, housepainter, mason, farmer, gardener.” Thoreau’s interests and thoughts were very broad; captains of industry are usually single-minded in their pursuits.
John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie were also judged in their times of leadership and their material achievements, but men like Thoreau, Samuel Langhorne Clemens or Abraham Lincoln made were judged more on sorts of contributions to society they made. Clemens and Lincoln both experienced business failures and they never claimed material successes comparable to those of the great captains of American
…show more content…
He wanted Rockefeller to know that he was not looking for charity but he was looking for a job opportunity and possibly something that would help he become a more successful businessman. Rockefeller never responded to his second letter.
In the observation that Sandage has on Bomgardner, he gets to the heart of what failure was on the people who were “crushed” by the weight of big industries. The ones who succeeded as the captains of the big industries succeed so hugely that their success defies anyone’s imagination. The paths of the successful are littered with the thousands that have fallen and been destroyed, pushed aside by the relentless, competitive

Related Documents