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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Born into one of the wealthiest families in America—he was the youngest son of Standard Oil scion John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and the celebrated patron of modern art Abby Aldrich Rockefeller—David Rockefeller has carried his birthright into a distinguished life of his own. His dealings with world leaders from Zhou Enlai and Mikhail Gorbachev to Anwar Sadat and Ariel Sharon, ...more
Paperback, 560 pages
Published October 28th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published October 15th 2002)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  23 reviews

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Chi Chi
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I have only read excerpts from this autobiography. I believe one of the most revealing quotes from this man is on page 405

“For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interest
Wendy Osborn
Apr 02, 2008 rated it liked it
The grandson of the Rockefellers that built the dynasty, David Rockefeller sums up his life while in his 90's.

After reading this, I actually pitied the guy a lot. I think he actually was completely ignorant to how much his name made his way in life for him. He was an indulged child with particular upbreeding. Adulthood and working in the real world slapped him in the face a bit. It seemed, however that he had a good work ethic, loyalty to country (he enlisted in the military as a youth), and a
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
A very easy to read, fascinating memoir written by a man who can never exist again. The youngest grandchild of the wealthiest man in the world, he could have lived off his interest. Yet he earned a PhD in economics, joined his uncle's bank and eventually became its chairman and CEO. Along the way he became active in philanthropy, politics, and international affairs. His concern for his family, his hometown, his country and his business reveals a true Renaissance man with a conscious. While I don ...more
Mar 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
I wasn't expecting very much from this book, despite my dad's recommendation, but the thing that I found most interesting was the backdrop to David Rockefeller's life. There's a clear and pronounced transition from the Edwardian era he grew up in to the modern era--he's still alive--and the tensions that come with that.

As one of the blurbs on the book says, he's an unapologetic advocate of the market solving all problems, but he has led a really interesting life.
Phillip Ozdemir
This is a dry, bland, uninteresting autobiography. By trying so hard not to offend, it offends. It offends a literary person’s sense of trust in the author. It offends a historian’s sense of love for details and facts. It offends a political scientist’s search for the motivations of the actors involved. It offends the common person’s expectation that by paying $49.95 for a book that is so big and heavy (499 pages, 2.5 pounds) they will be happy with it and it will be worth it. It isn’t. Persons ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
These are David Rockefeller's memoirs, and the writing style is clear and chatty, so this was a pleasure to read. This is someone who has led an interesting life, with a lot of opportunities to be on the edge of change and to influence it. He does seem to recognize that he was born on third base, and probably would have made some success of his life if he had not been born so well off, but clearly a lot of his position derives from his family resources. For example, he might well have become qui ...more
Timo Bremer
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Someone's Memoirs describe their life. That means two things.

1. It isn't necessarily interesting to read. Luckily David Rockefeller had a very interesting life. Yet, it should be said that even with the most interesting person, nobody will find all aspects of their life interesting. So Memoirs are among the kinds of books where its much more ok to pick and choose which parts to read. In the case of this book, the clear structure and division into different topical sections makes that very easy.

Cristian Stef
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
David Rockefeller is a brilliant person. He was an outstanding businessman, did a lot of charity work and had a big contribution for this world. The book is interesting, but I think a lot of chapters are too detailed and really boring. He was the president and chairman of a lot of foundations and NGO's. It is a bit strange how he met a lot of influent people. (Also member of The Bilderberg Club, Alfalfa Club and so on...)
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and very readable. I'll only give four stars because of the very real possibility that Mr. Rockefeller is not being completely forthcoming about certain issues. (He has been involved in an incredible amount of events/issues, and even a completely frank assessment couldn't answer all the questions that might arise.)
Thiago Alves
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Nessa autobiografia David Rockefeller aos 87 anos narrou um pouco da história do século XX a partir da perspectiva de um industrial, capitalista e filantropo norte-americano. Essa leitura revela como essa família transformou a jovem e sedutora nação norte-americana na maior economia do planeta, onde seu avô mesmo sem ter estudado economia compreendia o significado de demanda elástica e através da Standard Oil Company controlou 90% do setor nacional do petróleo. Sua família contribuiu de maneira ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great book about a very influencial man from a very influencial family.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
His was an interesting life, perhaps 50 pages too long.It will inspire me the next time I visited MOMA in NYC
Anne Cross
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very detailed, sometimes too much for me. Gave a good account of events that happened during his life. Very rich family but also very generous
Dec 07, 2012 rated it liked it
An easy read that is very detailed into the business career of David Rockefeller. I picked up this book a few years ago after reading Titan (John D Rockefeller Sr. biography) in the 90's. Titan is one of the best biographies I've ever read so I thought learning more about one of his grandsons would be interesting. David Rockefeller, who is still living today at 97 years of age, was a leading non-political figure in the world of international finance and business in the 2nd half of the 20th centu ...more
Rick Segers
Jun 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book on amazon. Here is that review...

I thoroughly enjoyed this very readable book.

I am a great fan of 20th century biography and all writers have a certain agenda. That was the case with this book but it did not detract from the interesting story of this 20th century icon.
Mr. Rockefeller reveals much of his life and his family, warts and all. America's ambassador without portfolio was instrumental in many of the key events of the century and it was certainly time that the story
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wrote this review 3 times already but it didn't get saved, so this one's going to be quick!

It's a bulky book of a life lived doing a million things - banker, philanthropist, art-lover, incidental diplomat, and a family guy. He takes us through the world that was around the time of his birth, how he was raised, the World War, and the business and politics of a whole era.

It's written according to subject matter so some events are repeated, but it also helps to have it in the timeline.
Jan 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
One of the best autobiographies I've ever read. Born to privilege, David Rockefeller has had an extraordinary life. He has met every head of state/performer/artist/author worth knowing. He is also a dedicated philanthopist who discusses the extensive social justice programs he has helped fund/create in many third world countries.

I was lucky enough to have him autograph my copy.
Matt Bucklin
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found this book fascinating. It is amazing that one man has so many amazing stories. David Rockefeller played a significant role in banking, politics, New York City real estate, international relations, and philanthropy in America, and the world. This book combines his incredible perspective with important history.
Bojan Avramovic
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bogati žive život sličan tebi. Ako ne veruješ u to pročitaj ovu knjigu ;)
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it
I was surprised at the contributions the Rockefeller family made to the world - I had no idea ... major financial endowments to Yellowstone and Versailles, to name two places...
Nov 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
Read this while I was sitting in the Bedford Public Library waiting for my daughter to be finished with her camp(s).
Dawn Wells
Feb 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Love non fiction
Yaakov Markel
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Jun 23, 2009
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Nancy Coleman
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May 04, 2013
Dr Michael Kaye
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Mar 27, 2017
Grigor Svetoslavov
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Jan 27, 2015
Graham James
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Apr 16, 2017
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“For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.” 19 likes
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