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Being a Rockefeller, Becoming Myself: A Memoir

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  32 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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(showing 1-30 of 548)
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Pam
Mar 13, 2015 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, memoir, 2015
I was pleasantly surprised by this unexpected gift from the publisher and thankful for the opportunity to get to know the Rockefeller family through the experiences and memories of the author. She provides an honest but poignant history of her family and an intimate view of lives beyond "money" and "political power." From the beginning of their economic success, the family has been committed to using a large portion of their wealth to help others in need and preserve parks and our environment. T ...more
Will Szal
Mar 20, 2014 Will Szal rated it really liked it
“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
Mar 10, 2014 Marietje rated it liked it
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 impre
...more
Pamela
Nov 07, 2013 Pamela rated it it was ok
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
Judy Novak
Jul 06, 2014 Judy Novak rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
...more
Soozblooz
Astonishingly self-absorbed and gratingly metaphor-prone. Ms. Rockefeller itemizes a litany of hurts and slights from busy parents and exlusionary siblings, and sees a world only as it relates to her. In one anecdote, she tells of weaving with two women in Africa. One morning, one of the women arrives later than usual with both her eyes blackened. The woman goes about her weaving and some time later commences singing and laughing. She then tells them the night before her husband stole all her mo ...more
Matt Bucklin
Jul 12, 2015 Matt Bucklin rated it it was amazing
It is a wonderfully written collection of stories that show a very human side to Eileen, and how she learned to deal with issues we all confront, like birth order, relationships, raising children, finding purpose, and looking for beauty in the world.
Estela
Apr 28, 2015 Estela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a Rockefeller is a book that talks about Eileen's life as a rockefeller. Eileen had a very hardh life and had to learn how to take care of herself. Her siblings fighted to be the best son. Her grandfather had much power at that time. Rockefeller's had a lot of money so they had many servants. Eileen learned how to apreciate others araound her. Also Eileen learned that money isn't everything on life. Eileen had many problems but she learned how to confront them by herself. This book showed ...more
Liz
Nov 04, 2013 Liz rated it it was ok
Could not finish. I kept plodding through hoping for meaningful message.
Linda
Oct 05, 2013 Linda rated it liked it
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
Nov 26, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Dusty Summerford
Sep 03, 2014 Dusty Summerford rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Oct 29, 2013 Kathleen rated it liked it
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
Sep 12, 2014 Pam Mooney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
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
Oct 23, 2013 Iris rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 06, 2014 Lake Lady rated it it was ok
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
Jan 03, 2015 Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 27, 2015 Janet D. rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir
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
Apr 15, 2014 Debra Ballard rated it it was amazing
Very interesting family. Not what I expected.
Miranda
Jan 25, 2014 Miranda rated it really liked it
I know Eileen and found her memoir very interesting with its glimpse into the Rockefeller lifestyle and her own psyche.
Linda Smatzny
Nov 04, 2013 Linda Smatzny rated it liked it
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
Sep 28, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
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
Jan 07, 2014 Jinjer Stanton rated it really liked it
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
Jan 16, 2014 Karolyn rated it really liked it
Interesting folks those welathy ones are..
Libby
Dec 25, 2014 Libby rated it liked it
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
Dec 26, 2013 Corinne rated it liked it
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
Dec 22, 2013 Hope Cochran rated it liked it
A bit meandoring and self serving. But an interesting piece of history and our country.
Josh Yeary
Dec 02, 2013 Josh Yeary rated it liked it
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
Oct 08, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Really self absorbed and really didn't discuss her "transformation". Basically, poor little rich girl
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