Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr

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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, a National Book Award-winning biographer, gives us a detailed and insightful history of the mogul. 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 indelibly alters 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 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 than anyone before him-his chosen philanthropies included the Rockefeller Foundation, the University of Chicago, and what is today Rockefeller University. 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. P. 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 writes this monumental saga with all the sweep, drama, and insight that this giant subject deserves.

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Grouped Work ID d240056c-71e9-9795-9954-ac0801cadcf0
Grouping Title titan the life of john d rockefeller sr
Grouping Author chernow ron
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-07-19 15:06:20PM
Last Indexed 2019-07-19 15:07:18PM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Gardner, Grover.
author Chernow, Ron.
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author_display Ron Chernow
available_at_school Hunter's Lane High
collection_school Biography
detailed_location_school Hunter's Lane High - Teen Biography
display_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.
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publishDate 1997, 2007, 2013
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subject_facet Audiobooks, Capitalists and financiers -- United States -- Biography, Industrialists -- United States -- Biography, Philanthropists -- United States -- Biography, Rockefeller, John D. -- (John Davison), -- 1839-1937
title_display Titan : the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr
title_full Titan : the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. / Ron Chernow, Titan The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Titan [sound recording] : the life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. / Ron Chernow
title_short Titan :
title_sub The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr
topic_facet Audiobooks, Biography, Biography & Autobiography, Business, Capitalists and financiers, History, Industrialists, Nonfiction, Philanthropists, Rockefeller, John D