- Paperback: 560 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (October 28, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812969731
- ISBN-13: 978-0812969733
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Memoirs Paperback – October 28, 2003
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“It is a rare author who can write about himself with openness and candor, but David Rockefeller has succeeded brilliantly. His discussion of his upbringing and of the obligations imposed by great wealth is fascinating, as are his personal reflections on four generations of Rockefellers. What the book also reveals, unconsciously but with great clarity, is the decency, integrity, and humanity of David Rockefeller himself.”—Dr. Henry Kissinger
“Long before globalization became a household word, David Rockefeller realized the importance of cultivating strong, trusting relationships with countries and their leaders around the world. We are privileged to be the beneficiaries of his lifelong commitment to world peace, and to have his reflections on these experiences in this superb memoir.”—Nelson Mandela
“In these memoirs, David Rockefeller provides an account of his life that is candid, incisive, and moving. Whether writing about his remarkable family, his distinguished career, or his important role in world affairs, he offers a unique and invaluable perspective on our times.”
—Kofi Annan, secretary general of the United Nations
“David Rockefeller is one of the most diversely interesting men of our time. It has been my pleasure to know him and his work, and this book, the product of his unique life, is both attractive and thoroughly engaging. It will attract everyone for the knowledge and pleasure it accords.”—Professor John Kenneth Galbraith
“Here is David Rockefeller at the top of his emotional register....As this calm yet revealing memoir indicates, there never will be another person like David Rockefeller.” —The New York Times Book Review
“[Rockefeller’s] book...is an account of a decent, hardworking man who ran his company, Chase bank, with an eye to the public good....If Rockefeller, by virtue of his name, is one of the poster boys of capitalism, he offers a pretty attractive face.”—Newsweek
“David Rockefeller is an emblematic figure of a world that no longer really exists...and there’s something refreshingly nineteenth-century about this entertaining memoir as well. Rockefeller’s style is restrained and self-deprecating.”—The New Yorker
“A compelling story of money, philanthropy, culture, and politics.”—The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“David Rockefeller has had a life that is both long...and remarkable....In his sweeping, lively Memoirs, Rockefeller allows us a glimpse into his gilded world.” —The Washington Post Book World
From the Inside Flap
Born into one of the wealthiest families in America--he was the youngest son of Standard Oil scion John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the celebrated patron of modern art Abby Aldrich Rockefeller--David Rockefeller has carried his birthright into a distinguished life of his own. His dealings with world leaders from Zhou Enlai and Mikhail Gorbachev to Anwar Sadat and Ariel Sharon, his service to every American president since Eisenhower, his remarkable world travels and personal dedication to his home city of New York--here, the ﬁ rst time a Rockefeller has told his own story, is an account of a truly rich life.
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What is amazing is that DR, who is still alive at 97 years old, has direct memories, as of 2001, of his grandfather, who was born in 1839 and had such an imprint on American history. Clearly, his father JDR, Jr, who lived to please his father, imparted much of his father's teachings to his children, and this comes out in the book. I especially appreciated this having read Titan.
DR states it took 10 years to write his memoirs. He was 88 years old when they came out. The text reads very well and clearly DR and his editors spent considerable time perfecting everything (he had plenty of help).
One annoying aspect of the text is that the DR has a habit of downplaying problematic parts of his life and exaggerating the good parts. For instance, practically half way though he tells us that all of his kids have always hated him and thought he's an insensitive "capitalist pig" kind of person. His wife had lifelong problems with depression, which he only mentioned in passing. Additionally, towards the end of his extended tenure as CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank we learn that he almost got thrown out for performing poorly. How many times he says "in the end" everything turns out right or he did the right thing, I can't count. I guess if you're a JDR, Sr grandchild, it doesn't matter!
On the other hand, he was one of the 6 children/5 sons of JDR, Jr, who inherited almost the entire Rockefeller fortune. DR's life clearly was blessed with access to the cream of our society whereever he went. He had an active mind and despite what his kids may have initially thought about him, he had dedicated much of his life to public service. It was definitely a worthwhile read.
My next book will probably be Bernice Kert's very well received bio on Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, DR's mother and the driving force behind the MoMA, despite her husband's (JDR, Jr's) distaste for modern art.
Most recent customer reviews
areas I did not know about.