Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Ron Chernow


John D. Rockefeller, Sr.--history's first billionaire and the patriarch of America's most famed dynasty--is an icon whose precise nature has eluded 3 generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the nationwide publication Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking households, provides us a historical past of the magnate "etched with unusual objectivity and literary grace . . . as precise, balanced, and psychologically insightful a portrait of the magnate as we may perhaps ever have" (Kirkus Reviews). Titan is the 1st full-length biography in accordance with unrestricted entry to Rockefeller's really wealthy trove of papers. A landmark booklet choked with startling revelations, the booklet will indelibly modify our photo of this so much enigmatic capitalist.
        Born the son of a flamboyant, bigamous snake-oil salesman and a pious, straitlaced mom, Rockefeller rose from rustic origins to develop into the world's richest guy through developing America's strongest and feared monopoly, ordinary Oil. Branded "the Octopus" via legions of muckrakers, the belief subtle and advertised approximately ninety percentage of the oil produced in America.
        Rockefeller was once most likely the main arguable businessman in our nation's heritage. Critics charged that his empire used to be equipped on unscrupulous strategies: grand-scale collusion with the railroads, predatory pricing, commercial espionage, and wholesale bribery of political officers. The titan spent greater than thirty years dodging investigations till Teddy Roosevelt and his trustbusters launched into a marathon campaign to carry general Oil to bay.
        While delivering considerable new proof of Rockefeller's misdeeds, Chernow discards the stereotype of the cold-blooded monster to comic strip an unforgettably human portrait of a unusual, eccentric unique. A religious Baptist and temperance suggest, Rockefeller gave funds extra generously--his selected philanthropies integrated the Rockefeller beginning, the collage of Chicago, and what's this day Rockefeller University--than a person prior to him. Titan provides a finely nuanced portrait of a desirable, complicated guy, synthesizing his private and non-private lives and disclosing a number of kinfolk scandals, tragedies, and misfortunes that experience by no means earlier than come to light.
        John D. Rockefeller's tale captures a pivotal second in American background, documenting the dramatic post-Civil warfare shift from small company to the increase of huge enterprises that irrevocably reworked the state. With cameos via 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 should Rogers, Titan turns Rockefeller's existence right into a vibrant tapestry of yank society within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries. it's Ron Chernow's sign triumph that he narrates this enormous saga with the entire sweep, drama, and perception that this large topic deserves.

From the Hardcover edition.

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