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Tough Tarbell Trivia - Printable Version

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RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 01-18-2020 07:53 PM

It is her biography of Owen Young. Now, what was Tarbell's problem with it, and what did the reviewers criticize?


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Steve - 01-18-2020 11:23 PM

“I have never been one who felt that the praise of him you believe to be a good man is a shame to a writer, any more than I have felt the condemnation of a man you believe evil is a particular virtue in a writer.”

I don't if the above quote is intended as some sort of apology; if it isn't - I'm not don't why Tarbell would apologize for the Young biography.

Some reviewers of the book thought she wasn't critical enough of the man.

RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 01-19-2020 12:31 PM

One problem with the biography is that Young was being spoken of as a possible presidential candidate in 1932. The book was looked upon by many as an extended campaign advertisement.

As for Tarbell's feelings about the book, in a letter written to Helen B. Russell on October 10, 1932, Tarbell wrote, "Between you and me it is not a very good book, nowhere as good as it ought to have been or would have been if I could have taken more time and done it under different circumstances. However it is not the last book that will be written on Mr. Young."

Tarbell wrote a letter to Harry Elmer Barnes on July 22, 1932 in which she wrote "Apparently I failed to even suggest to you and Mr. Stolberg [Benjamin Stolberg, reviewer for The Nation] that I had any reason for writing the book other than that of creating a plaster saint. That I can only explain by faulty craftsmanship (I am supposing that you both read the book you see). Should not one thank the critic who makes him feel that he should look to his technique rather than protest that he has done so?"

Barnes responded "Whatever Mr. Stolberg thinks I had not thought of criticizing you for deliberately creating a plaster saint. My main point is that the newer industrial leaders, though more soft-spoken, really make less of a contribution to human welfare than the old pirates you have so justly attacked."


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 05-13-2020 12:32 PM

Not much to do today, so I thought I would pose this question.

Of what was Tarbell referring to when she wrote "but that was years ago when I was young and vain and was unwilling to be left out entirely of the great art" of this?


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - RJNorton - 05-13-2020 01:27 PM

Being fashionable?

RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 05-13-2020 01:57 PM

Great guess Roger, but that's not it.


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Gene C - 05-13-2020 03:11 PM

Journalism ?

RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 05-13-2020 03:52 PM

Logical Gene, but incorrect.


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - RJNorton - 05-13-2020 04:00 PM


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - AussieMick - 05-13-2020 06:24 PM

Driving a car ?

RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 05-13-2020 06:31 PM

Well, that didn't last very long.

Roger nailed it. It was cooking. Tarbell had been asked to contribute recipies to a cookbook by a Mrs. George Warnsing of Petersburg, Ill. In August of 1928 Tarbell replied that she didn't have any recipe worth sending. "Years ago I was able to make three or four things very well. I could make a pie crust as flaky as any you ever saw and I could make delicious waffles and Scotch Woodcock. These accomplishments were in the nature of parlor tricks."

Later, Tarbell noted "Spurred by your letter, I tried a few weeks ago to make waffles for the family. The results were so tragic that out of respect to me nobody has spoken in my presence of the episode since--a silence which is as funny to me as the waffles were disappointing to them."

Roger, if I can ever find Tarbell's recipe for Scotch Woodcock, I'll send it to Vicki and she can make it for you--or you can make it for her.


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - RJNorton - 05-13-2020 07:01 PM

Thanks, Rob!

RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - Rob Wick - 10-22-2020 08:57 PM

What is the one thing that Ida Tarbell always wanted to do, but never was able to accomplish?


RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - RJNorton - 10-23-2020 03:49 AM

Is it a topic she wanted to write about but was never able to find time for it?

RE: Tough Tarbell Trivia - AussieMick - 10-23-2020 04:07 AM