Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $20.00
  • Save: $7.81 (39%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Titan: The Life of John D... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good readable copy. Worn edges and covers and may have small creases. Otherwise item is in good condition!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Paperback – March 30, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 269 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.19
$9.64 $5.26

Consequence: A Memoir by Eric Fair
Consequence
The popular new release from Eric Fair. Learn more | See related books
$12.19 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
  • +
  • The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
  • +
  • Alexander Hamilton
Total price: $37.50
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

''A biography that has many of the best attributes of a novel . . . Wonderfully fluent and compelling.'' --New York Times

''Ron Chernow's portrait of Rockefeller, an eccentric on a heroic scale as well as a genius, is convincing . . . This is the best biography of the man so far.'' --Washington Post Book World

''Splendid . . . A blue-chip biography.'' --Newsweek

''It is hard to imagine a better biography of Rockefeller being written . . . An enthralling biography of an enthralling person.'' --Chicago Tribune

''With uncanny timing, Ron Chernow has written a captivating biography of one of the most famous men in American business history . . . Business needs more books like Titan.'' --Newsday

''Chernow has written the definitive biographies of two other legendary financial dynasties . . . Now, with his Rockefeller biography, he has completed an extraordinary trilogy about the towering figures of twentieth-century commerce.'' --Vanity Fair

''A scrupulously balanced, frequently fascinating, and humanizing portrait of a figure of seemingly superhuman energy and ambition.'' --People

''By the time Chernow is finished, the old guy seems utterly human . . . and oddly appealing…A timeless parable of our civilization.'' --San Francisco Chronicle

''A monumental and mesmerizing biography . . . A fascinating yarn, capturing a man who insisted he could serve God and Mammon.'' --San Diego Union-Tribune

''Stunning . . . Mr. Chernow has confirmed his reputation as a great business historian.'' --Financial Times (London)

''A worthy biography of a truly titanic figure.'' --Economist (London)

''Sweeping . . . Chernow lays out the [Rockefeller] conundrum superbly, delineating the forces that shaped this man and the ways he responded to them.'' --USA Today

''[No biographer] has been as skilled, or as exhaustive, as Ron Chernow.'' --Philadelphia Inquirer

''Good biographies are hard to find and great ones even rarer . . . A thoughtful and balanced approach to one of the most significant and controversial lives of the past century . . . Spellbinding.'' --Seattle Times

''A masterful synthesis of research and writing…An extraordinary achievement in biography.'' --New Republic

''A triumph of research, understanding, and elegant writing.'' --Houston Chronicle

''What a story! An outstanding business biography.'' --New York Observer

''You can read this book as a sympathetic portrait of a complex man, a business history, a legal battle, or simply as a great yarn.'' --Businessweek

''Chernow has written the definitive biographies of two other legendary financial dynasties . . . Now, with his Rockefeller biography, he has completed an extraordinary trilogy about the towering figures of twentieth-century commerce.'' --Vanity Fair

''A scrupulously balanced, frequently fascinating, and humanizing portrait of a figure of seemingly superhuman energy and ambition.'' --People

''By the time Chernow is finished, the old guy seems utterly human . . . and oddly appealing…A timeless parable of our civilization.'' --San Francisco Chronicle

''A monumental and mesmerizing biography . . . A fascinating yarn, capturing a man who insisted he could serve God and Mammon.'' --San Diego Union-Tribune

''Stunning . . . Mr. Chernow has confirmed his reputation as a great business historian.'' --Financial Times (London)

''A worthy biography of a truly titanic figure.'' --Economist (London)

''Sweeping . . . Chernow lays out the [Rockefeller] conundrum superbly, delineating the forces that shaped this man and the ways he responded to them.'' --USA Today

''[No biographer] has been as skilled, or as exhaustive, as Ron Chernow.'' --Philadelphia Inquirer

''Good biographies are hard to find and great ones even rarer . . . A thoughtful and balanced approach to one of the most significant and controversial lives of the past century . . . Spellbinding.'' --Seattle Times

''A masterful synthesis of research and writing…An extraordinary achievement in biography.'' --New Republic

''A triumph of research, understanding, and elegant writing.'' --Houston Chronicle

''What a story! An outstanding business biography.'' --New York Observer

''You can read this book as a sympathetic portrait of a complex man, a business history, a legal battle, or simply as a great yarn.'' --Businessweek --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

John D. Rockefeller, Sr.--history's first billionaire and the patriarch of America's most famous dynasty--is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul "etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace . . . as detailed, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the tycoon as we may ever have" (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the first full-length biography based on unrestricted access to Rockefeller's exceptionally rich trove of papers. A landmark publication full of startling revelations, the book will indelibly alter our image of this most enigmatic capitalist.
Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mother, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to become the world's richest man by creating America's most powerful and feared monopoly, Standard Oil. Branded "the Octopus" by legions of muckrakers, the trust refined and marketed nearly 90 percent of the oil produced in America.
Rockefeller was likely the most controversial businessman in our nation's history. Critics charged that his empire was built on unscrupulous tactics: grand-scale collusion with the railroads, predatory pricing, industrial espionage, and wholesale bribery of political officials. The titan spent more than thirty years dodging investigations until Teddy Roosevelt and his trustbusters embarked on a marathon crusade to bring Standard Oil to bay.
While providing abundant new evidence of Rockefeller's misdeeds, Chernow discards the stereotype of the cold-blooded monster to sketch an unforgettablyhuman portrait of a quirky, eccentric original. A devout Baptist and temperance advocate, Rockefeller gave money more generously--his chosen philanthropies included the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, and what is today Rockefeller University--than anyone before him. Titan presents a finely nuanced portrait of a fascinating, complex man, synthesizing his public and private lives and disclosing numerous family scandals, tragedies, and misfortunes that have never before come to light.
John D. Rockefeller's story captures a pivotal moment in American history, documenting the dramatic post-Civil War shift from small business to the rise of giant corporations that irrevocably transformed the nation. With cameos by Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, Jay Gould, William Vanderbilt, Ida Tarbell, Andrew Carnegie, Carl Jung, J. Pierpont Morgan, William James, Henry Clay Frick, Mark Twain, and Will Rogers, Titan turns Rockefeller's life into a vivid tapestry of American society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It is Ron Chernow's signal triumph that he narrates this monumental saga with all the sweep, drama, and insight that this giant subject deserves.

"From the Hardcover edition.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 2nd edition (March 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400077303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400077304
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (269 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Important Information

Ingredients
Example Ingredients

Directions
Example Directions

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zubair Khan on March 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ron Chernow's Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. is a powerhouse from beginning to end. Chernow is fast becoming one of my favorite biographers after reading Alexander Hamilton and now this. In both books, he is able to keep you turning the page while, at the same time, building carefully rendered portraits of these complex historical figures.

In Titan, he is at his best, describing Rockefeller as both a great philanthropist and also a man possessed by greed. Chernow's Rockefeller can be as consumed by creating a great Baptist University [University of Chicago] as building tactical alliances that will squeeze out any hope of competition for his company, Standard Oil.

With his first brush stroke, Chernow paints the picture of Rockefeller's father a mountebank, philanderer and a bigamist. From meager beginnings, it is amazing to see the determination with which Rockefeller builds himself up. Rockefeller's ability to move so rapidly from a life of destitution and failure to one of unparallelled wealth and success is built with clear precision though at a dizzying pace.

Chernow's decision to focus so heavily on Rockefeller's father in the beginning of the book is important because the man Rockefeller becomes is a repudiation of everything his father stood for. The son in this case knew what a scoundrel his father was and acted in every way to become everything he was not. The father was a philnaderer, while the son remained devoted to his one wife even when he had become wildly successful. As the father placed his own interests ahead of his family's needs, the son put his family ahead of everything else.
Read more ›
1 Comment 106 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I have to be honest, I did not pick up and read Ron Chernow's Titan because I was burning to read a biography about John D. Rockefeller. I read Titan because I had just recently finished reading Ron Chernow's biography on Alexander Hamilton. In reading Titan, I hoped I would be getting a work similar to Alexander Hamilton, namely the quality of Chernow's prose and the rendering of his subject. Titan exceeded my expectations on all counts.

Chernow has an incredible ability to not only tell the story of a man, but to also tell the story of the times in which the man lived and, in so doing, place his subject squarely within his time. In telling the story of Rockefeller, Chernow is telling the story of America for the nearly 100 years Rockefeller was alive and living in America.

In rendering Rockefeller, Chernow gives us a full portrait of the man - both good and bad and never delivers a verdict on either. Instead, Chernow leaves it to the readers to draw their own conclusion on the man. In so doing, the reader is forced to confront the legacy left by Rockerfeller the Robber Barron with the legacy left by Rockefeller the philanthropist.

One conclusion though, that is implied in the text (if not overtly stated) is that had Rockefeller died during the breakup of the Standard Oil Trust in 1911, the judgement of history probably would have ignored Rockefeller's charitable contributions and condemned him outright. Instead, Rockefeller lived until 1937 during which time he garnered acclaim for his philanthropy. It also certainly did not hurt that Rockefeller's son, John D. Rockefeller Jr. would do so much to secure his father's place as America's foremost philanthopists as well as rehabilitate his father's Robber Barron image.

In short, if you like John D.
Read more ›
2 Comments 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Read this book before reading "Great Fortune."

"Great Fortune" is the story of the building of Rockefeller Center, and inevitably discusses the leadership influence of John D. Rockefeller jr. and Nelson Rockefeller.

However, the man who sired "junior" was John D. Sr., of course, and he was the one who created the values and assumptions which his family took into the 21st century.

I read this book because I had been simply curious about the mechanics of "the robber barons." Exactly how, and under what circumstances, were a few men in our history able to amass huge concentrations of money and thus profoundly direct our nation's affairs? And what were their personalities and values, too.

More so than any history book, Chernow's work in this area sheds needed light onto these questions. And, in learning Rockefeller's story, the reader also gains some understanding of contemporary titans like Bill Gates and - well - Jeff Bezos.

It's not Horatio Alger, exactly. That said, when you read Chernow's thorough and objective study, you realize that certain qualities are timeless:

1. Commitment to hard work.

2. Insight into meta-forces beyond the day to day.

3. Incredible drive and focus.

4. Ruthlessness in competition.

5. Sublime confidence in your own rectitude and success.

This is a great book with lessons well beyond its era.
2 Comments 136 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Adjusted for inflation, John Rockefeller was by far the richest man who ever lived. He was reviled for his evil business practices (forming monopolistic trusts, forcing competitors out of business, etc) but he was also a pious, gentle man who gave more to medicine, education and other charities than anyone in history. He could be a stern, rigid man, but defying his public image, he also insisted on paying more than he needed to because he wanted to be sure a business deal was good for both the buyer and the seller.

At the peak of his wealth, Andrew Carnegie had more money than Rockefeller, but from that point on, Carnegie's wealth rapidly declined while Rockefeller's soared. Rockefeller actually made more money after he retired than in all his working years. Even more amazing, Teddy Roosevelt's "trust-busting" efforts to dismantle the Standard Oil monopoly ended up hugely benefiting Rockefeller. This was one shrewd operator!

Rockefeller attended the same small Baptist church on Euclid Avenue most of is life and when he built his first mansion on "Millionaire's Row" in Cleveland, he intentionally built the smallest, most modest home on the street to down-play his wealth. While his contemporaries showed off their wealth, he never owned a yacht, or a private rail car - the equivalent of refusing to buy his own plane and flying commercial airlines today.

Rockefeller's faith believed it was God's will for him to "make as much as he could...and give as much as he could." In the end, no one (not Carnegie who built over 3000 libraries and innumerable galleries and concert halls, not the Mellons or the Fords or the Hearsts) has had more impact on American culture. Rockefeller founded and almost single-handedly built the University of Chicago.
Read more ›
Comment 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.