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Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Hardcover – May 5, 1998
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While Chernow amply catalogs Rockefeller's misdeeds, he also presents the tycoon's human side. Making use of voluminous business correspondence, as well as rare transcripts of interviews conducted when Rockefeller was in his late 70s and early 80s, Chernow is able to present his subject's perspective on his own past, re-creating a figure who has come down to us as cold and unfeeling as a shrewd, dryly humorous man who had no inner misgivings about reconciling his devout religious convictions with his fiscal acquisitiveness. The story of John D. Rockefeller Sr. is, in many ways, the story of America between the Civil War and the First World War, and Chernow has told that story in magnificently fascinating depth and style.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The personal conflict between hard-edged business practices and religious ethics are deftly portrayed, and left for the reader to decide wether or not Rockefeller was trying to bring stability and structure to a highly unpredictable market place, or being an un-controllable corporate steam-roller.
The book is not just a study of the incredible business career of John D Rockefeller. To take us some of the way towards understanding the individual, Ron Chernow allows time to give a fascinating look at the early days of not only the parents and grandparents, but also the life styles and factors from before his birth that would so influence the life of JDR. The book covers the years of philanthropy showing how a vast fortune in the right hands can be used effectively.
It's an excellent book, well researched and well written. I learned a great deal from it, and have a tremendous respect for not only the subject of the book, but also the author. I'd recommend "TITAN" to everyone.
I found it interesting to compare Rockefeller and Standard Oil to Bill Gates and Microsoft. Both men are powerful, rich, misunderstood, certain that their actions are ethical and good for their country and the economy, and dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate. Both men vow(ed) to give away most of their fortune. Both have been attacked by their own government, and villified in the press. Both dominate media coverage of business. And, like Rockefeller, Gates is a brilliant strategist who defies easy cliches and shallow descriptions. You can see goodness in either man, and you can also see evil. The beauty of Chernow's biography is that he allows us to see both sides of Rockefeller, without ever landing on either side himself.
Regardless of my thoughts on the parallels, I highly recommend this bio. Four friends are receiving it as their Christmas gift from me.
Ren Chernow's book is outstanding and provides an exhaustive description of Rockefeller's background, business and philosophy to life. Having already formed my own personal opinions about monopolies, I felt Chernow provided a well-balanced assessment of Rockefeller's behaviour and avoided the pitfalls of adoration or vilification.
The book is immensely readable and you need not be a lawyer, economist or business historian to make it through any section of the work. His research is exhaustive and leaves the reader feeling that they have truly been provided with insights into what made Rockefeller tick.
I highly recommend the book to anyone with an interest in commerce or in the history of the United States in this period. As we enter a period in which a new multi-billionaire becomes the subject of intense debate over his business practices, it is most interesting to look back on the life of John D. Rockefeller and determine the extent to which history is actually repeating itself.
5 stars - without any hesitation whatsoever.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Received in bad condition. Smelled of stale cigarettes throughout that book. No way I was able to give this as a gift as it was intended.Published 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book has lots of wisdom and life changing insights. I re-read it 2 times. R.chernow is now my favorite author.Published 28 days ago by William D
I've recommended it to at least six people. A great story, a page turnerPublished 3 months ago by Beatrice
Like how the book took his upbringing to light. That's what makes the greatsPublished 6 months ago by Sean
May be a difficult read for some but very well researched, articulated and written. Ageless classic.Published 8 months ago by Tim