The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr

Book - 2004
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Overview: 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 unforgettably human 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.
Publisher: New York, New York : Vintage Books, 2004
Characteristics: xxii, 774 pages : illustrations, genealogical tables ; 24 cm
Edition: Second Vintage Books edition
Copyright Date: ©2004
ISBN: 1400077303 (pbk.)
9781400077304 (pbk.)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Nov 24, 2016

Chernow dives deep into the founder of the Morgan financial dynasty. very detailed and slow read. Didn't struggle through more than about half of it.


StarGladiator is a loser, lost in self hatred, hatred for those with, and those without. The hatred comments are numerous by far and an ongoing aggravited harrassment. A coward cloaked in a disquise of a clouded appearance of misinformation as to many things existing and non existing, past, and present. History shows that you have no other meaning than to create a hardship for yourself through greed and the stealth of theft. Had your ancestor not been as they are now as corrupt by taking what is not theirs those things would not have happened. Truth does so much more for the whole than the scores of lies that you present. Let's take it up a notch. A notch in history of the theft of a family lineage by Moses of the book TO: RAH, you know it as The Torah. You nor any other criminal is entitled to what is not willfully given by the owner thereof. Presently The PSALM explains in detail the misinterpretation of a separate realism which you know as a religion. The word KORAH, is both a combination of the TORAH & THE KORAN, spelling differences aside, and combined. Had any elder person of your ancestors taken the time during the era before the WWII to take heed to the available works by HITLER being his book, which he describes of the time he spent in prison etcetera, they would have found in the first chapter their exit strategy from the incarceration. That's all it would have taken is one chapter to learn exactly what moved him to want to put a stop to corruption of the police from firing into crowds of citizen protestors killing people around him as he himself protested the brutality of the corruption. The concentration camps where not to kill all persons within which did not happen. Changes of identity, and identity theft prevailed for your kind before during, and after that time, and there are documents proving that the claimed loss of your ancestor were not as high as they were told to the general public. Those documents in speehes, and books written, and spoken by your own kind. If the NAZI were trying to kill all Jews which by the way have a problem when it comes to actually knowing the Jewelry Wearer, being a nation strong during the reign of KING DAVID & SOLOMON etcetera. That GERMANY was able to keep and hold onto the records of that DYNASTY shows that they are far more stronger and civil than made out to be where as since the war It Is Real, your Israel has not been out of war, and does not tend to have peace, just like before WWI & WWII. Those are facts. Business that you have no true knowledge of still goes on, and in order to have all prevail, those desires have to be earned.

Nov 07, 2014

Rockefeller, what a great guy! [According to the author, that is!] So what if he helped to finance Hitler's Third Reich, ending in the deaths and murders of over 16 million during World War II. So what if Rockefeller's thugs and chain gangs were responsible for the murders of countless men, women and children who just demanded decent wages. So what if Rockefeller's thugs (the Truesdale family) bombed his competitors' refineries, then other Truesdale family attorneys defended the bombers in court? Rockefeller, what a saint! Who gave America its first drive-by shootings? John D. Rockefeller and company, that's who [Ludlow Massacre]. And wasn't Rockefeller clever to create those holding companies, move his stock from Standard Oil to them, then move the ownership of those holding companies to his various foundations and trusts? What a clever, clever fellow. So today, the Rockefeller family is still majority owner of: ExxonMobil, JPMorgan Chase, AT&T, Baxter Pharmaceuticals, Intel, Apple Computer, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

deleuzerimbaud Oct 12, 2013

Excellent book. Ron Chernow writes at the Nobel level.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at JCPL

To Top