History Channel’s The Men Who Built America

I have a few minor quibbles with this otherwise excellent series on the growth strategies of America’s greatest tycoons.

Space Aliens on the History Channel

Space Aliens on the History Channel

So far I have seen the first three episodes and will most definitely catch the fourth when it airs next week. This series indicates a possible change in direction for the History Channel. If it truly is returning to serious history, then I welcome the move. All the emphasis of recent years on space aliens was a turn off for me.

My only real criticism of the show is the way they shoe-horned so many celebrities into the first episode for quick sound-bytes. Couldn’t Donald Trump use a rest by now?  I would certainly hope so. To be clear, I enjoy hearing from the historians and biographers of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Vanderbilt as they have interesting insights to add. In contrast, I was rather shocked to see Carly Fiorina, one of the very worst CEOs in history, appear for a couple of soundbites in the third episode. This is the woman who single-handedly destroyed a great American company and Silicon Valley icon. I refer to Hewlett-Packard, of course.

Really, History Channel? Carly Fiorina? Carly Fiorina from The Top 20 Worst CEOs List?

My only other quibble is the casting of John D. Rockefeller. The real John D. was a nerdy un-athletic looking fellow while the actor playing him in the series looks like your typical ex-jock high school football coach. He certainly resembles a few of mine. Meanwhile the actor cast as Vanderbilt looks quite a bit like him. The real Andrew Carnegie was only about 5 feet tall but back then the average male’s height was about 5’5″ to 5’7″.

All in all, it’s a job well done on the part of the History Channel. Everyone I know who has been watching the series loves it.


Read more about The Men Who Built America.

5 Responses to The Men Who Built America

  • Ha! Love the picture of the crazy guy.

  • Great series glad I happened to come upon it. Watching it makes a lot of points a lot clearer and gives an idea of what to look for. I’ll definitely be buying this series and watching it over as reminders as well as reading the playbook as i move forward.

  • Regarding Carly Fiorina it’s a case of a short supply of women. Looks like HC was forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The other woman, some prof, was good. I too hate to see Fiorina. She’s a female assclown like Donald Trump.

  • Here’s more on this horrible woman.

    Failed CEO Carly Fiorina, with $40m retirement package, says union pensions too high. http://americablog.com/2012/11/carly-fiorina-fiscal-cliff-budget.html

  • I think everything said made a great deal of sense.
    But, what about this? suppose you typed a catchier title?

    I am not saying your information isn’t solid., however suppose you added something that makes people desire more? I mean The Men Who Built America | Tycoon Playbook is a little plain. You should peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create article headlines to grab
    people interested. You might add a video or a related
    picture or two to grab people interested
    about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it might bring your posts a little livelier.

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