Monday, March 19, 2007

Quaker Oats . . . and the Moody Bible Institute?

My brother put me onto this book. The Cereal Tycoon by Joe Musser, published by Moody Press, tells the story of the primary founder of the Quaker Oats Company . . . who was also a key contributor to the Moody Bible Institute in the 1920s to early '40s.

Crowell's legacy is still alive today in the form of The Henry Parsons Crowell and Susan Coleman Crowell Trust. Sadly, Musser takes too many of the first 20 pages to describe Crowell's childhood. He then neglects many of the smaller details one could wish were left in the story about the founding of Quaker Oats, the revolutionary food processing and merchandising methods he pursued, the corporate battles he was involved in, how, specifically Crowell's religious convictions impacted his business decisions, and so forth. But Musser tells enough of Crowell's story and combines enough social history to whet one's appetite to know more about this titan of American business during that period of American history when some of the large corporations were put together and fortunes were made.

If you had no idea that the founder of Quaker Oats was a firebrand evangelical Christian, this book is a real eye-opener. And if you would like to learn about a potential "hero of the faith" in the business realm, Crowell may just be your man.
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