Heath Ochroch's Reviews > Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Titan by Ron Chernow
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's review
Sep 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: charlie-munger-recs
Read in January, 2011

“It is a great problem to learn how to give without weakening the moral backbone of the beneficiary”

Rockefeller’s dichotomy was that he was as ruthless in his business dealings as he was magnanimous in his philanthropic endeavors. Over the course of his life, he personally donated nearly 1 billion dollars to his different charities, creating modern medical practice in the process. At the same time, he was opposed to giving away even a penny to someone that hadn’t earned it.

Having just volunteered at a soup kitchen, he said “The experience was nice, but it seemed strange just giving people free soup. I would have had them pull weeds in my garden before feeding them!”

A wonderful rags to riches story, with many interesting parallels to the workings of the current business environment.

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