Titan by Ron Chernow
The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

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National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

"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

In this endlessly engrossing book, National Book Award-winning biographer Ron Chernow devotes his penetrating powers of scholarship and insight to the Jekyll and Hyde of American capitalism. In the course of his nearly 98 years, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., 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 subject's 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 family; and the wry sense of humor that made him the country's most colorful codger. Titan is a magnificent biography --balanced, revelatory, and elegantly written.

"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 Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Ron Chernow

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Ron Chernow is the prize-winning author of five previous books. His first, The House of Morgan, won the National Book Award. His two most recent books, Alexander Hamilton and Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, were both nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography. Chernow lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 832 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The archetypal American institution-builder—in industry, philanthropy, and the family dynasty bearing his name—is etched with uncommon objectivity and literary grace by National Book Award—winning business historian Chernow (The Death of the Banker, 1997, etc.).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Titan: The Life of John D. Ro...

Publishers Weekly

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Nearly 98 at his death in 1937, Rockefeller had retired in 1896 to be the Lord's fiduciary and gave his money away. Chernow, biographer of the Warburgs and the Morgans, has his finest subject in R

May 04 1998 | Read Full Review of Titan: The Life of John D. Ro...

Publishers Weekly

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Rather than the cunning, churchgoing hypocrite of legend who spent his Sundays piously but weekdays wrecking his rivals, Rockefeller emerges in Chernow's elegantly told biography as an enterprising monopolist who ""regarded God as an ally, a sort of honorary shareholder of Standard Oil."" Reducin...

| Read Full Review of Titan: The Life of John D. Ro...

Entertainment Weekly

Chernow concludes that Rockefeller's barbaric business practices (such as acquiescing to the use of armed force against striking workers and conspiring with railroads to bankrupt his competitors) and high-minded philanthropy (he gave away more than $500 million before dying in 1937) were opposite...

Jun 12 1998 | Read Full Review of Titan: The Life of John D. Ro...

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But there’s good news—by subscribing today, you will receive 22 issues of Booklist magazine, 4 issues of Book Links, and single-login access to Booklist Online and over 170,000 reviews.

Apr 01 1998 | Read Full Review of Titan: The Life of John D. Ro...

USA Today

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https://bookpage.com

In the twilight of his life, Rockefeller donated millions to charity and created such institutions as the Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller University, the University of Chicago, and the General Education Board.

Feb 10 2016 | Read Full Review of Titan: The Life of John D. Ro...

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