Buy Used
$6.50
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Like New in shrinkwrap! Ships immediately directly from an amazon warehouse!
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 this image

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. Paperback – September 7, 1999


See all 15 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$6.70 $0.63
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$18.88

There is a newer edition of this item:


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 + Andrew Carnegie
Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Choose Your Own Autobiography
Step right into Neil Patrick Harris's shoes in an exciting, interactive autobiography that places the reader squarely in the driver's seat. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 774 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (September 7, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679757031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679757030
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The patrician accent of George Plimpton (author of Truman Capote and The X Factor), with its edge of aristocracy and money, is perfectly suited for telling the rags-to-riches story of America's most famous businessman and philanthropist. Indeed, Plimpton seems to positively relish the superlatives that describe the life of John D. Rockefeller, who was far and away one of the most calculating, secretive, competitive, merciless, and talented figures ever to dominate the free market. Showing, early on, his keen attachment to hard work and keeping accounts, Rockefeller started out as an accountant in Cleveland. From there he went into the produce business, and then on to oil. By the time he was 31, he was the most powerful oil refinery owner in the world. His strategies for suppressing competition and controlling all aspects of the oil business while still paying attention to the smallest details make for dramatic listening in this well-documented and accessible narrative. Plimpton recounts how Rockefeller was the ultimate clutch player, calm in the face of adversity, a manager who was constantly searching for talented people and another way to grow Standard Oil into a megalithic modern corporation. Ultimately his rapacious business practices would make him head of the most powerful monopoly in America and the richest man in the world. Plimpton's engrossing reading of Titan brings out the human side of Rockefeller, a man of contradictions who was greedy yet giving, a capitalist villain and a do-gooder. A teetotalling Baptist, he began giving to charity when he was earning just a few dollars a week. As his wealth grew, so too his financial gifts. In the end, Rockefeller's philanthropic acts rivaled the precedents he set as a businessman. The oil baron died just short of his last goal--to reach the age of 100--but the indelible imprint he made on America's financial landscape will live on into the 21st century. (Running time: six hours, four cassettes) --A.E.D. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

National Book Award-winner Chernow's balanced account of Rockefeller Sr.'s life is artfully read by George Plimpton. Billionaire, Standard Oil mogul, and powerbroker, Rockefeller had his start in rural New York State where his upbringing was frugal, at best. Young John showed an aptitude for math and an early understanding of business practices. His mother instilled in him a strong moral and religious conviction, which influenced and colored his long life. Oil was, at first, a sideline in Rockefeller's commodities partnership, but by the turn of the century, it had made him wealthy and infamous. Philanthropy made his name a household word and claimed an increasing amount of time in his later life. Access to the Rockefeller archives contributed to Chernow's success in rounding out the picture of Rockefeller's public and private life. Recommended.?Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Lib., Providence
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ron Chernow won the National Book Award in 1990 for his first book, The House of Morgan, and his second book, The Warburgs, won the Eccles Prize as the Best Business Book of 1993. His biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Titan, was a national bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

(What's this?)

Customer Reviews

This is a very well written book.
Matthew J. Fery
Titan gives great insight into the life of John D. Rockefeller.
Daniel Chung
He knew what he wanted and he was going to get it!
W. P. Danitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 63 people found the following review helpful By SL-N/1973 on October 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
As a frequent visitor to New York, I'd often wondered who the "Rockefeller" of the Rockefeller Plaza was, and how he made his fortune. I bought this book with an air of caution, as biographies of highly successfull people can be biased either towards patronising hero-worship, or venomous character assasination. I needn't have worried, as Ron Chernow's extensive, thorough and even-handed book portrays not only JDR's progress through and beyond his 98 years, but also America's consequent development.
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.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark Edward Bachmann on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While John Rockefeller is one of the most famous and influential men in American history, he has nonetheless come down to Americans in caricature: steely-faced, secretive, greedy, crafty, and ruthless. He was certainly all these, but Ron Chernow has in this book laid bare for us the rest of the story, which is complex, exhilarating, quirky, and rich in paradox. A business genius, Rockefeller was a pivotal figure in developing the modern corporation as the organizational vehicle for controlling massive capital-intensive operations. Recognizing early on that an empire of the scale he envisioned could not be run effectively in the autocratic style still common in his day, he rarely made important decisions without seeking debate and achieving a common mind among his key associates, foreshadowing the "consensus-management" style typical of large-scale enterprise today. His most flagrant sin, and the one that fueled the political backlash against Standard Oil, was the ruthlessness with which he crushed competitors. However, even here he played by the cold-blooded rules as he saw them and was rarely vindictive. When advantageous to himself, as it often was, he extended the olive branch to vanquished rivals, buying out their companies and drawing them into his organization, making at least some of them richer than they could have been on their own. This was not generosity but the inexorable mechanism whereby he expanded Standard Oil into a monopoly. Nevertheless, generosity - paradoxical as it seems - was in fact central to Rockefeller's life. Chernow traces Rockefeller's philanthropy back to his deepest roots as the dutiful son of an intensely religious Baptist mother.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John J. Wood on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
I am in awe of Ron Chernow for writing a long and thorough biography that I absolutely could not put down. Rarely have I finished such a long book in such a short period of time. Chernow manages to show how complex Rockefeller's personality and motives, were, and he helps us to avoid the all-too-easy cliches about the rich and powerful. Yet while revealing the complexity, he is never boring, didactic, or long-winded.
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David J. Chmiel on November 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
My interest in John D. Rockefeller was spawned by an interest in the theory and policy underlying antitrust law in the United States. Having read fairly extensively in the realm of academic texts on the subject, I was interested in acquiring a somewhat more human insight into an individual such as John D. Rockefeller who is often held up as an icon of the unrestrained capitalism of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.
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.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?