Gould's Union puppets

This is obviously taking things too far, but refreshing to see in print:
As the railroads created tycoons and then oligarchs, the government became their instrument. At the top of the pile was railroad man Jason "Jay" Gould. Writes Beatty, "Jay Gould was president. He never ran for office, he never lost office — he ruled. He wrote the laws. He interpreted the Constitution. He commanded the army. He staffed the government. He rented politicians, fattening his purse off their favor."
This will ever be a problem when you allow journalists to write history (this book - Age of Betrayal - is by an Atlantic editor named Beatty), so take it for what it is worth.

The writers of popular history generally have dulled their own sense for controversy. In this case, I wonder if Beatty has tried to make a full case that Lincoln was not his own man. It seems making that case is an obligation imposed by notions like "Jay Gould was president."

I'm open to the idea. So show me...