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As I See It: The Autobiography of J. Paul Getty Paperback – June 26, 2003
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Getty wrote this book to give the public a glimpse into his very private life; seemingly knowing he was about to die, that he did not desire to die such a secretive/reclussive man. Inside this book, you'll read about how he developed a strong work ethic at a young age -- working hard-labor in the oil fields that he would later own; sneaking out his parents car in the middle of the night to take girls out on dates (hah!); accumulating wealth and looking out for employees; laying everything on the line for great opportunities; the tragedy of his grandson's kidnapping; and a very nice retort for all those people who called him a stingy old man -- that all of his wealth/money was invested in his business.
Oh yeah, and you read about how he hung out with Hugh Heffner back in the day. His original books were published by Playboy Press, including my copy of his autobiography (an original 70's hardcopy). :-) Yeah, Getty lived the life I would like to be living now -- 'cept for all the divorces; poor guy just couldn't keep a lady around and it's depressing to read sometimes. And in a way, reading this book gives me inspiration for staying on track, aiming your sights on what's important in life and not letting go. Getty had a fun life and he was handsomely rewarded for it. Since reading Getty, I've seen the same drive in all the other Billionaires whose autobiographies I've read -- Branson, Dell, Schultz.Read more ›
Mr. Getty begins and ends his book with this quote. He discusses his political ideas, his personal life starting from his childhood, as well as, focusing on the current events of the day. I enjoyed learning about Jackie Kennedy, Aristotle Onassis, the Rockefellers, and other famous people in his day.
His parents were very involved and attentive. They helped him develop into a mature and successful adult. Their stable relationship created a nice environment for their only child, Paul. Unfortunately, Mr. Getty was unable to create an environment like this for his five sons. His short term marriages, created turmoil for his children. Mr. Getty felt like a failure in all five of his marriages.
He inherited the oil business from his father. But because of his hard work and his intelligence, he built an empire.
I enjoyed reading his ideas on women and men. He explains the differences between the sexes in the work place as well in relationships. He obviously learned a lot about women from his marriages.
Mr. Getty explains why he looks friendless and very grim in his media photos. He explains why he installed a pay phone in his mansion.
He actually was not a loner, or a miser, as the press incorrectly states.Read more ›
This isn't necessarily a quick read business how-to book though you learn a lot by reading it. You get his life story that includes details on his family, friends, business associates, charity work and art. You also get interesting stories about the famous people he knew, eg his friend the Duke of Windsor that met with Hitler trying to avert WWII. Also there are chapters lovingly discussing his parents, children, and even his 5 ex-wives. He also defends his reputation for being cheap, eg payphone in his mansion. You really get inside his head by reading this book. My favorite chapter is his random thoughts chapter he wrote on Thanksgiving day, less than a year before he died 1976.
The book is very readable, Getty is to-the-point and clear, he wanders a bit, no surprise for an 83-yr-old writer, but maintaining a good train of thought and addresses the topics one would want to hear. The pictures bring some personalities to life, and the large print helps the pages speed by.
Some sections are fascinating, for example, the ways he dedicated himself to business at the cost of his five marriages, his hi-jinks as a youth, conversations with top leaders, Hollywood people and pesky hangers-on as the richest man in the world.
Other sections can be tedious. He often argues that he is not a hermit, not miserly, and had great relations with his parents. Much of this comes across as protesting too much, in fact, I tried to find an unauthorized biography to contrast with his official version, as I suspect some facts don't align with his narrative, but have not yet succeeded. He also assumes a superior vision across the realm of art and humanity, which I do not value as highly as his views on business.
My top gripe is the apocalyptic view of the world falling apart, mainly because there are fewer capitalistic businessman and more leftists than were dominant during his youth. The topic only comes up sporatically, although I thought of tossing the book midstream when his peculiar point of view went astray to the point of assaulting the concept of welfare and advocating capital punishment. He went so far as to claim (p.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really entertaining read on the views of a great businessman. Not a get rich book but a guide on the insights of living a rich fulfilling life. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tex5646
I still chuckle when I think of Getty installing payphones and locks to keep cheap SOBs from abusing him and the phones in his home. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Charles K. Munroe
GOOD BOOK TO READ BUT ONE DOESN'T HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE QUOTE BELOW, DO THEY?
"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. Read more
It's always a pleasure to se the point of view of a great man, and Getty is not the exception.Published 14 months ago by Cristher
J.P Getty wrote this book in his later life. And it reads like an old man telling good stories. Interesting book.Published 23 months ago by John H. Chebat