IDA TARBELL: PORTRAIT OF A MUCKRAKER
by Kathleen Brady
Seaview/Putnam; 286 pages; $17.95
It was Theodore Roosevelt who gave investigative journalists the title of muckrakers, but it was Ida Tarbell who perfected the technique. Her father, a minor Pennsylvania oil driller, was nearly ruined by John D. Rockefeller. Twenty years later she settled the score with her scathing 1904 History of the Standard Oil Company, which described some of the robber baron's sharper practices and led eventually to the dismantling of his empire. But as Kathleen Brady, a TIME reporter-researcher, points out in a...