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Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself: A Memoir

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The daughter of David and Peggy Rockefeller and a great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, Eileen Rockefeller understood at an early age that her name was synonymous with American royalty. She learned in childhood that wealth and fame could open any door; but as the youngest of six children and one of twenty-two cousins in one of the world’s most famous families, she be ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 12th 2013 by Blue Rider Press
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Pamela
Eileen Rockefeller comes from a large, influential family. As the youngest of six, she has her hang-ups and often feels alone with her brothers and sisters given the age gap.

Rather than one continuous life story, this book is a series of anecdotes about her life -- from her childhood with her parents to her days at boarding school to her life as an adult with her own two children. I don't read many autobiographies, and it was interesting to read about someone else's life from their point of vie
...more
Will Szal
“We are the American royalty. We have an extraordinary inheritance of both money and service. Do not disappoint.”

This is the unspoken maxim of the Rockefeller family, as coined by Eileen Rockefeller in her memoir, “Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself.”

I found out about the book the day it was released from my Facebook feed. Eileen and I are connected there, as my father is friends with her. I bought the book for my iPad that day, and finished reading it within a week. I feel as though my life’s
...more
Marietje
I read this book, because I heard Eileen Rockefeller speak on a panel discussion of ¨Descendants¨ at a book festival. All three women on the panel were descendants of famous fathers. I expected Eileen to be one of those ¨culture snob¨ rich ladies. Instead she came across as a very spiritual, warm and understanding woman, who had obviously struggled a lot to become the person she wanted to be.
Her book ¨Being a Rockefeller; becoming myself¨ has the same feel to it. However, while reading I got the
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Judy Novak
This biograpahy is very true to the author, Eileen. Being the youngest, and with her father, David, constantly traveling around the world on diplomatic and business missions, she often felt lost in the family. She has been much closer to him than to her mother. This bio certainly is a compelling story of her strenghts and weaknesses and the not-always-so-fairytale existence she has led. It also highlights her many unique experiences from the past.

Sadly, since this book came out her brother Rich
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Liz
Could not finish. I kept plodding through hoping for meaningful message.
Linda
I enjoyed this inner look at the family life of a famous and exceedingly wealthy family, perhaps one of the closest Americans have to royalty. Eileen has lived a life of privileges and experiences provided by her wealth that many would barely dream of if they'd won the mega-lottery. And yet her parents tried to make the children understand their responsibilities to use their wealth to help others, to be unspoiled. So we can understand their enjoyment of building things for themselves and simple ...more
Richard
Eileen Rockefeller’s memoir, “Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself,” is the most inspiring I have read this year. Any narrator as candid, deeply reflective, and funny as this one would be wonderful and memorable; that this voice comes from within one of our country’s wealthiest and most private families is all the more remarkable.

Rockefeller beautifully captures her simultaneous senses of joy and isolation growing up and her struggles to come into her own as an adult. A dyslexic introvert, she
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Dusty Summerford
Thanks to Goodreads & Eileen Rockefeller for this Goodreads giveaway!!

I found that this book hit all my buttons! It was happy, sad, loving, inspiring, frustrating, etc... I thought it was a great memoir overall. Maybe a little too long & did a bit of jumping around in the storylines. But I would definitely reccomend this memoir to anyone who loves strong women from American royalty.
Kathleen
The author lives in the town next to mine, and I thought this memoir might be interesting. It was, but I wouldn't recommend it without reservation. Eileen takes a long time to gain any semblance of self-confidence. Her parents raised her to think of her family as "American royalty." [In an interview I watched last week, Warren Buffet sent his children to public school and told them to think of themselves as just like everybody else in town, no better because they had money.] The author has had e ...more
Pam Mooney
A poignant memoir of a life well lived. Rockefeller family dynamics are relatable regardless of social economic status. Their family adventures, however, encompass what most of us can only dream of. Certainly it would be a challenging to define yourself with so many people telling you or assuming who you are. It is inspirational to hear of and see the outcomes of Rockefeller rising to the challenge.
Iris
This was a great Memoir. Eileen has so many great stories in this book about her life. With her stories I was transferred to different parts of her life which were interesting(the homes her parents owned on Islands were interesting). I marvel how she found who she was with the struggles in life being the youngest child of six. Everyone struggles in life to find out who they are and Ms. Rockefeller was no different. I was enchanted with her stories and at the end she writes about how Beauty is in ...more
Lake Lady
I had hoped this book would be more insightful than it was. Nicely written and not a bad read overall. Just not very inspiring.
Renee
fascinating to live in this new world for a bit, to see life form her vantage. It is heart felt, and very inspiring.
Janet D.
Having met the author while working at a book-signing, I was curious about this book. In person, she is unassuming and friendly; I liked her. Her book reveals that for her whole life, she has sought to prove that she deserves to be a Rockefeller, over and over again. Whether she's bringing a cleaning crew to her sister's house or reconciling her mother's mental illness, she needs to have attention paid. Don't we ALL feel that way?

In short, every member of the Rockefeller family that I have met i
...more
Debra Ballard
Very interesting family. Not what I expected.
Miranda
I know Eileen and found her memoir very interesting with its glimpse into the Rockefeller lifestyle and her own psyche.
Linda Smatzny
This is a memoir of one of John D. Rockefeller's great-granddaughter. Eileen was the youngest daughter of David Rockefeller. She was felt unloved in her family of six children. She was emotional which was frowned upon in the household. She craved attention - thinking that meant love. She talks about how she lived but it doesn't come across as boasting of wealth. She loved the outdoors and found herself when sent to a wilderness school. Easy to read.
Michael
Very insightful. Great methods on child/family interaction. Provides a great glimpse inside an iconic american family. Enjoyed thoroughly.
Billie James
I won this book on good reads, I liked the book and it was neat to read about her life and family.
Jinjer Stanton
Her writing aroused my empathy. I was envious. Not of the money, but of family projects (like building a cabin on a remote island), and the providing of opportunities for the children to learn self-sufficiency. I can't imagine anyone leaving a pair of children (middle grades) alone on an island today. But I would so have loved that experience as a kid.
Karolyn
Interesting folks those welathy ones are..
Libby
Interesting memoir. Eileen Rockefeller is a down to earth person and not at all what you might assume given her last name. I enjoyed her stories especially those at the family home in Kykuit which I've visited and in Mt Desert Island.
Corinne
Interesting in an unexpected way. Yes, you do learn about the Rockefeller lifestyle, connections, and influence but, most importantly, you get to know an interesting woman who speaks candidly about her life.
Hope Cochran
A bit meandoring and self serving. But an interesting piece of history and our country.
Josh Yeary
A bit hard to relate to at times. Overall a good read and satisfied my curiosity of what it's like to grow up as a Rockefeller
Jennifer
Really self absorbed and really didn't discuss her "transformation". Basically, poor little rich girl
Charlene
I liked this book, lots of good ideas, Goes to show money doesn't buy happiness.
Kay
Poor little rich girl. Very self centered. I just skimmed the last half.
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