wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale
wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale__right
wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale__below

Unmarked copy. Crisp copy with a sturdy binding and light shelf wear. Worldwide shipping is available!
See more
Sold by North End Distributing and fulfilled by Amazon.
[{"displayPrice":"$16.59","priceAmount":16.59,"currencySymbol":"$","integerValue":"16","decimalSeparator":".","fractionalValue":"59","symbolPosition":"left","hasSpace":false,"showFractionalPartIfEmpty":true,"offerListingId":"fqpjh7HvjTCk8xWzhkNfMe2YTOhQc1P%2B%2BQGd4eQiGk%2BBDPYnhJwa%2BHeeRBM6gmQ6WIb%2BfGw7C3Imf6Ux30R4puRL3FK8KgufykLh6klLModrTAOD39JKJwodVsuxbj1BujjoBYfTaNw%3D","locale":"en-US","buyingOptionType":"NEW"},{"displayPrice":"$13.44","priceAmount":13.44,"currencySymbol":"$","integerValue":"13","decimalSeparator":".","fractionalValue":"44","symbolPosition":"left","hasSpace":false,"showFractionalPartIfEmpty":true,"offerListingId":"y2%2BhgtESJ4TZp7n41k0U4S9obJqWcyKt6VL8HcCzD3zFwbbILlt8K2kEbU5Q7PfWNXybIWZJ6oess5BbvOoRMnQ%2FUWBJmo%2BUm73ujrOM8JNcdi3ILJVqOrSCUb3xHJVi8BKLsJLfPY9jnhyqArFj%2BOQadRDw9UfJuw9Sq%2Fv4uq4RAZMjKFaGyBRIGNkdSz3S","locale":"en-US","buyingOptionType":"USED"}]
$$16.59 () Includes selected options. Includes initial monthly payment and selected options. Details
Price
Subtotal
$$16.59
Subtotal
Initial payment breakdown
Shipping cost, delivery date, and order total (including tax) shown at checkout.
ADD TO LIST
Available at a lower price from other sellers that may not offer free Prime shipping.
SELL ON AMAZON
Share this product with friends
Text Message
WhatsApp
Copy
press and hold to copy
Email
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Join or create book clubs
Choose books together
Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. Explore Amazon Book Clubs
Popular Highlights in this book
What are popular highlights?

Highlights

Kindle readers can highlight text to save their favorite concepts, topics, and passages to their Kindle app or device. The popular highlights below are some of the most common ones Kindle readers have saved.

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.
The Amazon Book Review
Book reviews, interviews, editors'' picks, and more.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Frequently bought together

+
+
Choose items to buy together.
Buy all three: $57.59
$16.59
$18.39
$22.61
Total price:
To see our price, add these items to your cart.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Book details

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Description

Product Description

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
 
From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Alexander Hamilton: here is the essential, endlessly engrossing biography of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.—the Jekyll-and-Hyde of American capitalism. In the course of his nearly 98 years, Rockefeller was known as both a rapacious robber baron, whose Standard Oil Company rode roughshod over an industry, and a philanthropist who donated money lavishly to universities and medical centers. He was the terror of his competitors, the bogeyman of reformers, the delight of caricaturists—and an utter enigma.
 
Drawing on unprecedented access to Rockefeller’s private papers, Chernow reconstructs his subjects’ troubled origins (his father was a swindler and a bigamist) and his single-minded pursuit of wealth. But he also uncovers the profound religiosity that drove him “to give all I could”; his devotion to his father; and the wry sense of humor that made him the country’s most colorful codger. Titan is a magnificent biography—balanced, revelatory, elegantly written.

Review

“A biography that has many of the best attributes of a novel. . . . Wonderfully fluent and compelling.” — The New York Times

“A triumph of the art of biography. Unflaggingly interesting, it brings John D. Rockefeller Sr. to life through sustained narrative portraiture of the large-scale, nineteenth-century kind.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Important and impressive. . . . Reveals the man behind both the mask and the myth.” — The Wall Street Journal

“One of the great American biographies. . . . [Chernow] writes with rich impartiality. He turns the machinations of Standard Oil . . . into fascinating social history.” — Time

From the Back Cover

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.

About the Author

Ron Chernow’s bestselling books include The House of Morgan, winner of the National Book Award; The Warburgs, which won the George S. Eccles Prize; The Death of the Banker; Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Washington: A Life, which received the Pulitzer Prize for Biography; and Alexander Hamilton, nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and adapted into the award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton. Chernow has served as president of PEN American Center and has received seven honorary doctoral degrees. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER 1

The Flimflam Man

In the early 1900s, as Rockefeller vied with Andrew Carnegie for the title of the world''s richest man, a spirited rivalry arose between France and Germany, with each claiming to be Rockefeller''s ancestral land. Assorted genealogists stood ready, for a sizable fee, to manufacture a splendid royal lineage for the oilman. "I have no desire to trace myself back to the nobility," he said honestly. "I am satisfied with my good old American stock." The most ambitious search for Rockefeller''s roots traced them back to a ninth-century French family, the Roquefeuilles, who supposedly inhabited a Languedoc château-a charming story that unfortunately has been refuted by recent findings. In contrast, the Rockefellers'' German lineage has been clearly established in the Rhine valley dating back to at least the early 1600s.

Around 1723, Johann Peter Rockefeller, a miller, gathered up his wife and five children, set sail for Philadelphia, and settled on a farm in Somerville and then Amwell, New Jersey, where he evidently flourished and acquired large landholdings. More than a decade later, his cousin Diell Rockefeller left southwest Germany and moved to Germantown, New York. Diell''s granddaughter Christina married her distant relative William, one of Johann''s grandsons. (Never particularly sentimental about his European forebears, John D. Rockefeller did erect a monument to the patriarch, Johann Peter, at his burial site in Flemington, New Jersey.) The marriage of William and Christina produced a son named Godfrey Rockefeller, who was the grandfather of the oil titan and a most unlikely progenitor of the clan. In 1806, Godfrey married Lucy Avery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, despite the grave qualms of her family.

Establishing a pattern that would be replicated by Rockefeller''s own mother, Lucy had, in her family''s disparaging view, married down. Her ancestors had emigrated from Devon, England, to Salem, Massachusetts, around 1630, forming part of the Puritan tide. As they became settled and gentrified, the versatile Averys spawned ministers, soldiers, civic leaders, explorers, and traders, not to mention a bold clutch of Indian fighters. During the American Revolution, eleven Averys perished gloriously in the battle of Groton. While the Rockefellers'' "noble" roots required some poetic license and liberal embellishment, Lucy could justly claim descent from Edmund Ironside, the English king, who was crowned in 1016.

Godfrey Rockefeller was sadly mismatched with his enterprising wife. He had a stunted, impoverished look and a hangdog air of perpetual defeat. Taller than her husband, a fiery Baptist of commanding presence, Lucy was rawboned and confident, with a vigorous step and alert blue eyes. A former schoolteacher, she was better educated than Godfrey. Even John D., never given to invidious comments about relatives, tactfully conceded, "My grandmother was a brave woman. Her husband was not so brave as she." If Godfrey contributed the Rockefeller coloring-bluish gray eyes, light brown hair-Lucy introduced the rangy frame later notable among the men. Enjoying robust energy and buoyant health, Lucy had ten children, with the third, William Avery Rockefeller, born in Granger, New York, in 1810. While it is easy enough to date the birth of Rockefeller''s father, teams of frazzled reporters would one day exhaust themselves trying to establish the date of his death.

As a farmer and businessman, Godfrey enjoyed checkered success, and his aborted business ventures exposed his family to an insecure, peripatetic life. They were forced to move to Granger and Ancram, New York, then to Great Barrington, before doubling back to Livingston, New York. John D. Rockefeller''s upbringing would be fertile with cautionary figures of weak men gone astray. Godfrey must have been invoked frequently as a model to be avoided. By all accounts, Grandpa was a jovial, good-natured man but feckless and addicted to drink, producing in Lucy an everlasting hatred of liquor that she must have drummed into her grandson. Grandpa Godfrey was the first to establish in John D.''s mind an enduring equation between bonhomie and lax character, making the latter prefer the society of sober, tight-lipped men in full command of their emotions.

The Rockefeller records offer various scenarios of why Godfrey and Lucy packed their belongings into an overloaded Conestoga wagon and headed west between 1832 and 1834. By one account, the Rockefellers, along with several neighbors, were dispossessed of their land in a heated title dispute with some English investors. Another account has an unscrupulous businessman gulling Godfrey into swapping his farm for allegedly richer turf in Tioga County. (If this claim was in fact made, it proved a cruel hoax.) Some relatives later said that Michigan was Godfrey''s real destination but that Lucy vetoed such a drastic relocation, preferring the New England culture of upstate New York to the wilds of Michigan.

Whatever the reason, the Rockefellers reenacted the primordial American rite of setting out in search of fresh opportunity. In the 1830s, many settlers from Massachusetts and Connecticut were swarming excitedly into wilderness areas of western New York, a migration that Alexis de Tocqueville described as "a game of chance" pursued for "the emotions it excites, as much as for the gain it procures." The construction of the Erie Canal in the 1820s had lured many settlers to the area. Godfrey and Lucy heaped up their worldly possessions in a canvas-topped prairie schooner, drawn by oxen, and headed toward the sparsely settled territory. For two weeks, they traveled along the dusty Albany-Catskill turnpike, creeping through forests as darkly forbidding as the setting of a Grimms'' fairy tale. With much baggage and little passenger space, the Rockefellers had to walk for much of the journey, with Lucy and the children (except William, who did not accompany them) taking turns sitting in the wagon whenever they grew weary. As they finally reached their destination, Richford, New York, the last three and a half miles were especially arduous, and the oxen negotiated the stony, rutted path with difficulty. At the end, they had to lash their exhausted team up a nearly vertical hillside to possess their virgin sixty acres. As family legend has it, Godfrey got out, tramped to the property''s peak, inspected the vista, and said mournfully, "This is as close as we shall ever get to Michigan." So, in a memorial to dashed hopes, the spot would forever bear the melancholy name of Michigan Hill.

Even today scarcely more than a crossroads, Richford was then a stagecoach stop in the wooded country southeast of Ithaca and northwest of Binghamton. The area''s original inhabitants, the Iroquois, had been chased out after the American Revolution and replaced by revolutionary army veterans. Still an uncouth frontier when the Rockefellers arrived, this backwater had recently attained township status, its village square dating from 1821. Civilization had taken only a tenuous hold. The dense forests on all sides teemed with game-bear, deer, panther, wild turkey, and cottontail rabbit-and people carried flaring torches at night to frighten away the roaming packs of wolves.

By the time that John D. Rockefeller was born in 1839, Richford was acquiring the amenities of a small town. It had some nascent industries-sawmills, gristmills, and a whiskey distillery-plus a schoolhouse and a church. Most inhabitants scratched out a living from hardscrabble farming, yet these newcomers were hopeful and enterprising. Notwithstanding their frontier trappings, they had carried with them the frugal culture of Puritan New England, which John D. Rockefeller would come to exemplify.

The Rockfellers'' steep property provided a sweeping panorama of a fertile valley. The vernal slopes were spattered with wildflowers, and chestnuts and berries abounded in the fall. Amid this sylvan beauty, the Rockfellers had to struggle with a spartan life. They occupied a small, plain house, twenty-two feet deep and sixteen feet across, fashioned with hand-hewn beams and timbers. The thin soil was so rocky that it required heroic exertions just to hack a clearing through the underbrush and across thickly forested slopes of pine, hemlock, oak, and maple.

As best we can gauge from a handful of surviving anecdotes, Lucy ably managed both family and farm and never shirked heavy toil. Assisted by a pair of steers, she laid an entire stone wall by herself and had the quick-witted cunning and cool resourcefulness that would reappear in her grandson. John D. delighted in telling how she pounced upon a grain thief in their dark barn one night. Unable to discern the intruder''s face, she had the mental composure to snip a piece of fabric from his coat sleeve. When she later spotted the man''s frayed coat, she confronted the flabbergasted thief with the missing swatch; having silently made her point, she never pressed charges. One last item about Lucy deserves mention: She had great interest in herbal medicines and home-brewed remedies prepared from a "physic bush" in the backyard. Many years later, her curious grandson sent specimens of this bush to a laboratory to see whether they possessed genuine medicinal value. Perhaps it was from Lucy that he inherited the fascination with medicine that ran through his life, right up to his creation of the world''s preeminent medical-research institute.

By the time he was in his twenties, William Avery Rockefeller was already a sworn foe of conventional morality who had opted for a vagabond existence. Even as an adolescent, he disappeared on long trips in midwinter, providing no clues as to his whereabouts. Throughout his life, he expended considerable energy on tricks and schemes to avoid plain hard work. But he possessed such brash charm and rugged good looks-he was nearly six feet tall, with a broad chest, high forehead, and thick auburn beard covering a pugnacious jaw-that people were instantly beguiled by him. This appealing façade, at least for a while, lulled skeptics and disarmed critics. It wasn''t surprising that this nomad did not accompany his parents on their westward trek to Richford but instead drifted into the area around 1835 in his own inimitable fashion. When he first appeared in a neighboring hamlet, he quickly impressed the locals with his unorthodox style. Posing as a deaf-mute peddler selling cheap novelties, he kept a small slate with the words "I am deaf and dumb" chalked across it tied by a string to his buttonhole. On this slate, he conversed with the locals and later boasted how he exploited this ruse to flush out all the town secrets. To win the confidence of strangers and soften them up for the hard sell, he toted along a kaleidoscope, inviting people to peer into it. During his long career as a confidence man, Big Bill always risked reprisals from people who might suddenly unmask his deceptions, and he narrowly escaped detection at the home of a Deacon Wells. The deacon and his daughter, a Mrs. Smith, pitied the poor peddler who knocked on their door one Saturday and sheltered him in their home that night. The next morning, when they invited him to church, Big Bill had to resort to some fancy footwork, for he always shied away from crowds where somebody might recognize him and expose his imposture. "Billy told [the deacon] in writing that he liked to go to church, but that his infirmity caused him to be stared at, so that he was abashed and would not go," recalled a townsman. "He really feared that he might be exposed by someone." Seven months later, after the deacon and Big Bill had both moved to Richford, Mrs. Smith spotted the erstwhile deaf-mute at a social gathering and marveled at his miraculous recovery of speech. "I see that you can talk better than when I saw you last," she said. Big Bill smiled, unfazed, his bravado intact. "Yes, I''m somewhat improved." When he arrived in Richford, the local citizens immediately got a taste of his fakery, for he wordlessly flashed a slate with the scribbled query, "Where is the house of Godfrey Rockefeller?"

Since he usually presented false claims about himself and his products, Bill worked a large territory to elude the law. He was roving more than thirty miles northwest of Richford, in the vicinity of Niles and Moravia, when he first met his future wife, Eliza Davison, at her father''s farmhouse. With a flair for showmanship and self-promotion, he always wore brocaded vests or other brightly colored duds that must have dazzled a sheltered farm girl like Eliza. Like many itinerant vendors in rural places, he was a smooth-talking purveyor of dreams along with tawdry trinkets, and Eliza responded to this romantic wanderer. She was sufficiently taken in by his deaf-and-dumb humbug that she involuntarily exclaimed in his presence, "I''d marry that man if he were not deaf and dumb." Whatever tacit doubts she might have harbored when she discovered his deceit, she soon succumbed, as did other women, to his mesmerizing charm.

A prudent, straitlaced Baptist of Scotch-Irish descent, deeply attached to his daughter, John Davison must have sensed the world of trouble that awaited Eliza if she got mixed up with Big Bill Rockefeller, and he strongly discouraged the match. In later years, Eliza Rockefeller would seem to be a dried-up, withered spinster, but in late 1836 she was a slim, spirited young woman with flaming red hair and blue eyes. Pious and self-contained, she was the antithesis of Bill and probably found him so hypnotic for just that reason. Who knows what gloom hung around her doorstep that was dispelled by Bill''s glib patter? Her mother had died when Eliza was only twelve-she had dropped dead after taking a pill dispensed by a traveling doctor-and Eliza was raised by her older sister, Mary Ann, leaving Eliza deprived of maternal counsel.

On February 18, 1837, despite the express opposition of John Davison, this most improbable couple-Bill was twenty-seven, Eliza twenty-four-were wed at the home of one of Eliza''s friends. The marriage was a favorite gossip item among the Richford townspeople, who tended to spy guile on Bill''s part. Compared to the Davisons, the Rockefellers were poor country folk, and it is very likely that Bill was entranced by reports of John Davison''s modest wealth. As early as 1801, the frugal Davison had acquired 150 acres in Cayuga County. In John D.''s words, "My grandfather was a rich man-that is, for his time he was counted rich. In those days one who had his farm paid for and had a little money beside was counted rich. Four or five or six thousand was counted rich. My grandfather had perhaps three or four times that. He had money to lend."

Product information

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.
UP NEXT
CANCEL
00:00
-00:00
Shop
Text Message
Email
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Share
More videos
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who bought this item also bought

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
1,733 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

vessie
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The man has great talent and an obvious intellect
Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2018
Let me begin with the fact that Chernow''s composition and writing style are outstanding. The man has great talent and an obvious intellect. The book begins with a bang and builds to a crescendo- at first. The development of Rockefeller''s origins, early life and... See more
Let me begin with the fact that Chernow''s composition and writing style are outstanding. The man has great talent and an obvious intellect.

The book begins with a bang and builds to a crescendo- at first. The development of Rockefeller''s origins, early life and ascendancy to the worlds richest man, and the captain of American Industry is breathtaking. The detail about his massive and discrete giving are awe inspiring. I couldn''t put the book down and burned through the first 300 pages in a few days. Then it happened: Chernow''s hatred of Rockefeller''s Evangelical Christian world view became too much for him to bear and the book sags into leftist drivel and sanctimony by page +/- 325. It just gets worse from there. It becomes pretentious, and snippy- slouching toward all out hatred for Rockefeller''s success springing from the Christian doctrines of self denial, industry, thrift and generosity.

While Chernow treats Rockefeller''s Bible Based World View with fairness and thoroughness in the beginning, and attributes Rockefeller''s genuineness and success to Rockefeller''s Christian convictions, the envy and contempt of the author bleeds through and stains the rest of the book.The reader is treated to constant haranguing and insults directed toward Christianity generally, and Rockefeller''s practition thereof specifically.

Rockefeller''s life was nothing short of overwhelming. His candor, authenticity, tireless commitment to Abolition, Education, and Temperance all bubble from the wellspring of his Christian convictions. His detractors such as Ida Tarbell and other angry socialists do as much to burnish Rockefeller''s reputation as his own good works.

I was taught as a youth to "hate" the "Robber Barrons" (another totally fake Identifier of the original American builder/makers) and dismiss Rockefeller as an evil greedy man. I was lied to! I have a new and great admiration for this authentic and invaluable American hero- thanks to Chernow''s book, and my trained critical thinker''s discipline to consider the motive of all editorials.
256 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Grandpa
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Too biased for good history
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2019
Beginning in chapter 8, Chernow ceases to give history and instead begins passing his own judgment on Rockefellers Christianity. Chernow is an outsider to Christianity but that doesn''t stop him from acting as an expert on it. He couldn''t keep his prejudice to himself and... See more
Beginning in chapter 8, Chernow ceases to give history and instead begins passing his own judgment on Rockefellers Christianity. Chernow is an outsider to Christianity but that doesn''t stop him from acting as an expert on it. He couldn''t keep his prejudice to himself and ceased to be a historian.
87 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Daniel Putman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A journey well worth taking
Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2018
Though I read and enjoyed Chernow’s biographies of Washington, Hamilton and Grant, I found this biography of Rockefeller his best. I did not expect that. The bland grayish cover, which shows a grim, almost sadistic-looking Rockefeller against a sterile cityscape, does not... See more
Though I read and enjoyed Chernow’s biographies of Washington, Hamilton and Grant, I found this biography of Rockefeller his best. I did not expect that. The bland grayish cover, which shows a grim, almost sadistic-looking Rockefeller against a sterile cityscape, does not inspire a potential reader to think of “enjoyable read.” Likewise, the pre-book knowledge I had of Rockefeller’s founding of Standard Oil led me to think that this biography would involve a lot of dry reading about Rockefeller’s financial dealings. But I was completely wrong. This is a gripping story, much of it about an America we now live in but know little about the origins.

Chernow is, as usual, an excellent stylist. The book can roughly be divided into two parts: 1) how Rockefeller got the largest fortune in American history at the time and 2) how Rockefeller gave most of that away in philanthropic work. He drove thousands of small businesses out of the market and put multiple thousands of workers out of work using ruthless and cutthroat techniques, many (not all) of which were legal at the time. Cooperation with him was always better than competition and woe to anyone who did not agree. His personality is fascinating and Chernow does an exceptionally good job at bringing that out. In fact, Rockefeller’s personality and character are central themes that run throughout the book – how this pious Baptist who thought God wanted him to make as much money as possible so he could give it away could go through life with massive repression and apparent equanimity. His (and his son’s) philanthropy is incredible, from founding the University of Chicago to Rockefeller University to the Rockefeller Foundation. Millions for this, multiple millions for that in late 19th century and early 20th century money! It is mind-blowing. The book begins with Rockefeller’s father, a patent medicine quack showman who kept two separate families and ends with Rockefeller giving more money to advance real medicine than any individual in history.

The book expands the reader’s consciousness and is a fascinating and enjoyable read at the same time. Though Chernow’s Hamilton gets all the press these days, I learned more from this book about America and enjoyed it more. In my view it is a pinnacle of biographical writing - by any author.
74 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Petter Johnson
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Rockefeller. A view from the left.
Reviewed in the United States on April 9, 2019
I liked the breadth of history and detail. Especially captivating are the descriptions of the strong various characters and events in and around Rockefeller’s orbit from boyhood to manhood. Unfortunately the author’s inappropriate leftist bias and interpretation throughout... See more
I liked the breadth of history and detail. Especially captivating are the descriptions of the strong various characters and events in and around Rockefeller’s orbit from boyhood to manhood. Unfortunately the author’s inappropriate leftist bias and interpretation throughout distracted when it needn’t have - which was often.
26 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Senex Magister
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Titan
Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2016
This is the third book by Ron Chernow that I have read. Last year I read his biography of George Washington followed by his excellent work on Alexander Hamilton. His latest books led me to one of his earliest biographies. What they all have in common is a personal... See more
This is the third book by Ron Chernow that I have read. Last year I read his biography of George Washington followed by his excellent work on Alexander Hamilton. His latest books led me to one of his earliest biographies. What they all have in common is a personal picture of Americans who have had a fundamental impact on this nation for good or ill. I wasn''t sure how I would feel about a book that dealt with the life of John D. Rockefeller. I have to admit, as I began this book, that I had preconceived attitudes about men like Rockefeller especially in the context of the 2008 recession. Mr. Chernow points out so well that there is both a good and bad John D. Rockefeller who had so much to do with the creation of an Industrial American Economy in the Post Civil War Era. There is the greed of the monopolist who attempted to eliminate competition without regard to the untold harm it could cause to our economic prosperity. Then you see a man who was undoubtedly the wealthiest man in America committed to giving away the wealth he had accumulated to improve the society that had allowed such disparity in wealth. Yes, John D. Rockefeller brought philanthropy into our economic vernacular . There is a dichotomy here that is very difficult to judge. If we advocate a laissez-faire free market economy, such disparity seems to me is inevitable. In this book I saw both good and evil in this man. Mr. Chernow helps you to consider what kind of cooperation is necessary in a free democracy.
61 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
MD
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A book that will nudge you to think
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2018
This is my first ever experience with reading a Ron Chernow book. I was looking to read a biography on a prominent American and stumbled upon recommendations about TITAN during my research over internet. When I ordered this book, I did not know what to expect and... See more
This is my first ever experience with reading a Ron Chernow book.
I was looking to read a biography on a prominent American and stumbled upon recommendations about TITAN during my research over internet.
When I ordered this book, I did not know what to expect and how long I’d be interested in continue reading. I have many unfinished books (fiction as well as non fiction) because I lost interest or figured out what the theme/story line will be for the remainder of the book or on some occasions simply because the writing style was not for me.

But for me, this book is the best example of superior writing style. I got so impressed by the usage of a vast vocabulary and weaving of complex bits of stories without losing continuity and context that I had to look up other works by the author.
Next in line for me is Hemilton, which I have already bought.

There are many biographies on Rockefeller and those who are born and raised in the USA would have already known about this highly controversial figure, yet this book is a must read for all who wants to read an unbiased account of Rockefeller’s life and work.
Ron Chernow has done an excellent job in researching and portraying the peripheral events and circumstances which certainly influenced the man and contributed towards shaping him into who he was. Reading this book helps one understand the brilliant and complex mind of Rockefeller which was hermetically sealed away even from his own children.

It is a compact read that is choke full with information. This book not only portrays the unimaginable success story of rags to reaches but also helps the readers to glimpse at an era prior industrial revolution, how it all started and shaped America into who she is now - a global super power.

This book created a new found respect in me for this powerful self made man who quietly kept giving to the humanity. Yet there is the other side, who came across as a secretive person determined to not let his early days of business and birth of Standard Oil resurface in public mind, which makes me wonder how ethical was he in his business approach, at least in the beginning?
And these conflicting thoughts and debates in my mind were all introduced by the author. This is the tellatale sign of an extraordinary writer, in my humble opinion. Books should be informative, insightful and yet written in such an unbiased way that in the end the readers can debate different points and form their own opinion. And this book does exactly that.
The narrative is from a person who saw Rockefeller neither as a protagonist or antagonist, nor did his story telling revealed any bias that might have formed based on historical accounts (from specific people) of life and work of this Great man named John Davison Rockefeller.
How many can actually build something from scratch and then make it absolutely gigantic? That also after coming from a troubled unknown background and minimal education? How many can remain austere and simple in their approach to life even after being declared the richest man on this earth? How many can actually give silently?

Needless to say, this book has created a great impact in my mind and influenced me for better.
Read this book and decide for yourself.
15 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
Michael Lyman
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating, well-balanced and it will make you want to reevaluate your own life.
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
I am a licensed tour guide in Saint Augustine, Florida. Rockefeller''s close friend and business partner at Standard Oil was Henry Morrison Flagler who is known as the father of modern Florida and father of Florida tourism. His developments in Florida began with the Ponce De... See more
I am a licensed tour guide in Saint Augustine, Florida. Rockefeller''s close friend and business partner at Standard Oil was Henry Morrison Flagler who is known as the father of modern Florida and father of Florida tourism. His developments in Florida began with the Ponce De Leon Hotel here. I am also a Baptist like Rockefeller and am a member of Ancient City Baptist, whose building Flagler helped build. Rockefeller was often here and would die at his home in Ormond Beach, in Flagler County about 50 miles south of here. I also give guided tours of our historic church and Rockefeller had ties with several men in our church and in our area. He supported the missionary efforts of John E. Clough financially who was converted by one of our former pastors and of which we have a commemorative window. This book is extremely well-documented, very interesting and thought-provoking. The only thing I would disagree with is the author''s view of the Northern Baptist movement at the time, they were strongly influenced by the doctrines of grace and believed that God could save anyone but certainly wasn''t trying to save everyone. I definitely want to read more of this authors books as I read this. I may add more to my review later.

This was Rockefeller''s favorite hymn.

1. I''ve found a friend, O such a friend!
Christ loved me ere I knew Him
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus he bound me to Him;
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and Christ is mine,
Forever and forever.

2. I''ve found a friend, O such a friend!
He bled, he died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own self He gave me;
Naught that I have my own I call,
I hold it for the Giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His, and His forever.

3. I''ve found a friend, O such a friend!
All pow''r to Him is given,
To guard me on my onward course,
And bring me safe to heaven:
Th''eternal glories gleam afar
To nerve my faint endeavor;
So now to watch, to work, to war,
And then to rest forever.

4. I''ve found a friend, O such a friend!
So kind and true and tender,
So wise a counselor and guide,
So mighty a defender!
From Him who loves me now so well
What pow''r my soul can sever?
Shall life or death or earth or hell?
No, I am his forever.
12 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report
KauiTop Contributor: Historical Fiction Books
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
great book about a great man
Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2020
This is another 6-starts out of a possible 5 star rating system. Highly recommended by a reading BFF, and written by one of my favorite non-fiction authors (one of 6 or so whom I will read no questions asked), Ron Chernow, I determined to read this tome after enjoying... See more
This is another 6-starts out of a possible 5 star rating system. Highly recommended by a reading BFF, and written by one of my favorite non-fiction authors (one of 6 or so whom I will read no questions asked), Ron Chernow, I determined to read this tome after enjoying Washington: A Life, Hamilton, and Grant - all by Chernow as well. Chernow has written 6 books and so I embarked upon completing his books. I chose this one first because of my friend''s recommendation but it was great because it covers a life that overlaps with Grant and Reconstruction.

Rockefeller was a business genius, and even in today''s dollars is almost still the richest man ever. Bill Gates is the only one (at $40bb) to outpace him. His religious zeal, love of money and conviction that cooperation was the way to go for industry formed a trifecta of beliefs that, married with Rockefeller''s incredible stamina, cleverness and perserverance created Standard Oil, which was eventually broken up by Teddy Roosevelt into many smaller companies, among them Chevron, Shell and Arco. Despite earning around $30bb in 1996 dollars, he gave away most of it to do things like bail out various businesses in the U.S., start Spelman College and University of Chicago, bail out Belgium (yes! the country!) after WWI, repair the Louvre and started biomedical research in the U.S. The reach and influence of the beneficiaries of Rockefeller''s philanthropy are wide, deep and impressive.

The book is a wonderful read, especially for anyone with any background in business - but also for anyone interested in how a devout Baptist became the richest of the Robber Barons. I highly, highly recommend.
3 people found this helpful
Helpful
Report

Top reviews from other countries

Robert ‘Bob’ Macespera
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2020
This is a good book in line of the author''s other great biographies of great Americans (Hamilton, Morgan, Washington, Grant). Mr Chernow does know well his trade and writes quite well. However, the books suffers from two reasons, and thus the three stars. Firstly, the most...See more
This is a good book in line of the author''s other great biographies of great Americans (Hamilton, Morgan, Washington, Grant). Mr Chernow does know well his trade and writes quite well. However, the books suffers from two reasons, and thus the three stars. Firstly, the most interesting part of a self-made billionaire is how he got to be one. But this is told only suscinctly and in a handful of pages - we see John D Rockefeller as a trader in Ohio and ten pages later he is already an oil tycoon. Secondly - and this is common in these "great lives" of Mr Chernow - once the main character retires, there''s really not much to tell, and we have the sensation of the author''s will to produce a large book, just for the sake of it. So we spend two hundred pages reading John Rockefeller''s odd habits and routines, playing golf, travelling to Europe and doing all those things the American millionaires do when they retire, and which are not interesting at all. Add to this that his heir, John jr, is a far less interesting character. However, we''re told what he likes and does and how many children he had. (This happens too in another good book by the same author, that one about the House of Morgan). But again, the story is well told (if it could be much better 200 pages shorter). Also on the plus side, it is worth mention that it draws an excellent view on the American change of the Century, from the XIXth to the XXth, obviously, and a very worthy review of the American politics and society of those days.
7 people found this helpful
Report
Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great read, recommended to all entrepreneurs or successful minded individuals
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2020
I’ve always found biographies and autobiographies great reads. To be able to study successful people and emulate elements of their practices into your own life is a great way to build your own standard of wealth. This book by Ron Chernow is very well written. It is...See more
I’ve always found biographies and autobiographies great reads. To be able to study successful people and emulate elements of their practices into your own life is a great way to build your own standard of wealth. This book by Ron Chernow is very well written. It is comprehensive and clearly illustrates what sort of person John D Rockefeller was as well as the struggles he had growing up. We often think that successful people have always had it that way, but this book illustrates the grit that is needed for one to become successful, no matter what their endeavour.
Report
joshua kumar
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Highly recommended
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 14, 2021
This is the best biography that I have ever read; very interesting to see how Mr Rockefeller transitioned from a simple rural boy into a business leader. Chernow has a very beautiful writing style and portrays Rockerfeller''s exploits in the oil industry in a very...See more
This is the best biography that I have ever read; very interesting to see how Mr Rockefeller transitioned from a simple rural boy into a business leader. Chernow has a very beautiful writing style and portrays Rockerfeller''s exploits in the oil industry in a very Machiavellian manor. The book does lose momentum when talking about the life of John D rockerfeller Jr and gives a lot of unnecessary details about senior''s retirement routine. Overall a great book and highly recommended for anyone who wants to get started in Business or who wants to study American history
One person found this helpful
Report
PauloMunich
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Much too long and detailed for me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2013
I enjoy reading biographies, but this one is tough going. It''s a huge book and goes into minute detail about almost everyone Rockefeller met and every deal he did. The author probably set out to write the "definitive" biography of Rockefeller and he probably succeeded. I''ve...See more
I enjoy reading biographies, but this one is tough going. It''s a huge book and goes into minute detail about almost everyone Rockefeller met and every deal he did. The author probably set out to write the "definitive" biography of Rockefeller and he probably succeeded. I''ve read about a third of it so far and I think I''m going to give up with it. It''s probably ideal if you are a historian or writing a thesis on the subject, but for the casual reader of biographies I suggest that you look elsewhere.
13 people found this helpful
Report
Butler baboo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wow.
Reviewed in India on October 12, 2017
Easily the best biography I’ve EVER read, (well apart from Autobiography of a Yogi), Titan is a marvel. Written in a flawless, lucid style, the book describes the life and times of John Rockefeller, the legendary business tycoon of 19th century America. Described unfairly...See more
Easily the best biography I’ve EVER read, (well apart from Autobiography of a Yogi), Titan is a marvel. Written in a flawless, lucid style, the book describes the life and times of John Rockefeller, the legendary business tycoon of 19th century America. Described unfairly as a robber baron, Rockefeller amassed a fortune and an empire the world had scarcely seen. Yes, he ruthlessly ripped apart competition; yes he bribed his way to industrial sovereignty. But one must not forget that he was working his way in old frontier America, an America which  hardly had any competition or industrial laws. Cowboy capitalism was the name of the game, and Rockefeller was our Clint Eastwood- the strong, silent leader. Reading this book is an education- one sees the forces of capitalism, law, politics and personalities clash and collide, creating new industries, new wealth and new leaders. Its wonderful. Its addictive.  What stands out in the whole narrative is the man himself- Rockefeller was an enigma. Deeply religious, he often displayed eerie powers of self control and awareness. His rock-solid composure often made me think  of the Bhagwan Gita’s idea of samata. Despite one setback after another, this man just pushed on. Not only do we get to know how he made his empire, but also how he retired at the age of 55 and devoted himself fully to philanthropy and religion. It was Rockefeller who started the University of Chicago and many other educational and medical institutions.  What is striking is to see how difficult, how exhausting and nerve wracking even philanthropy proved to be. When you see and read what Rockefeller went through, you often wonder whether accumulating wealth is worth the trouble Truly a titan. If you’re interested in fascinating men, or even the growth and spread of corporate America interlaced with law and politics, just go for it.
28 people found this helpful
Report
See all reviews
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Customers who viewed this item also viewed

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?

Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

Pages with related products.

  • henry ford
  • autobiography of the famous
  • top business books
  • biography of famous people
  • non-fiction historical books
  • history of oil industry books

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale

wholesale Titan: The Life of wholesale John D. Rockefeller, outlet online sale Sr. outlet sale