Summary of Titan

The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

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Titan book summary
Superb biography captures the life and psyche of mogul and philanthropist J.D. Rockefeller, a “saint and sinner.”

Rating

8 Overall

7 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style

Recommendation

John D. Rockefeller Sr. was probably the biggest, baddest robber baron in 19th century America, and also its leading philanthropist. Many writers scorned his ruthlessness, notably Ida Tarbell, who wrote two books on Rockefeller and his company, Standard Oil. Author Ron Chernow digs deeper, through masses of Rockefeller family documents, to present the founder of the Rockefeller dynasty as a “man of flesh and bone and soul.” He covers Rockefeller’s ugly, dramatic and even shameful aspects, while concurrently demonstrating his business acumen and his philanthropic leadership amid a remarkable generation of business barons, including William Randolph Hearst, Jay Gould, William Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan. An amazing portrait emerges of an almost invisible, rather megalomaniac ascetic who wanted to fulfill God’s will. He became extremely wealthy, gave millions away, and believed that he brought the benefit of inexpensive oil products to all mankind. getAbstract highly recommends this multifaceted biography.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How a poor boy, John D. Rockefeller, became a young entrepreneur
  • How he established Standard Oil and prospered by buying out his competitors
  • How his work ethic and faith brought him wealth and made him a major philanthropist
 

Summary

The Titan Emerges
The future “richest man in the world,” John D. Rockefeller (often referred to as JDR) was born in Richford, New York, on July 8, l839. Tales of his early life were cloaked in myth. People said the family was dirt poor. They said his father was a wandering peddler, a rapist...
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About the Author

Historian Ron Chernow won the National Book Award for his first book, The House of Morgan, and received the Eccles Prize as the Best Business Book of 1993 for his second book, The Warburgs.


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