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Titan: The Life of John Rockefeller, Sr.


giofranchi
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Have the audio-book already ;D Have read about half of the book but bought the audio-book too :D

The only problem is I have been a slug in reading or listening to books lately I hope my reading/listening genie will come back soon.

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This book is fantastic!

 

Chernow is brilliant, his books on the Warburgs and JPM are great reads as well, especially if you are interested in the politics, finance and sentiment of the inter-war period and the transition of power from London to New York.

 

Titan is my pick of the bunch though.

 

His portrayal of Rockefeller's contrasting conservative christian private life and his working life as a peerless ruthless corporate predator who forced a re-writing of the rulebook is awesome.

 

 

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He also had his mother’s slow metabolism and ability to bear a large burden for long periods in an unruffled way. Many neighbors testified that unflappable Eliza never lost her temper, never raised her voice, never scolded anyone – a style of understated authority that John inherited. … Eliza trained her children to reflect coolly before making decisions; her frequent admonition “We will let it simmer” was a saying John employed throughout his business career.

 

 

giofranchi

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“As I began my life as a bookkeeper, I learned to have great respect for figures and facts, no matter how small they were. … I had a passion for detail which afterward I was forced to strive to modify.”

Business historians and sociologists have stressed the centrality of accounting to capitalist enterprise. … It thus seems fitting that John D. Rockefeller, the archetypal capitalist, betrayed a special affinity for accounting and an almost mystic faith in numbers. For Rockefeller, ledgers were sacred books that guided decisions and saved one from fallible emotion. They gauged performance, exposed fraud, and ferreted out hidden inefficiencies.

 

Paraphrasing Mr. Buffett, accounting is the language of business.

 

giofranchi

 

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It is impossible to comprehend Rockefeller’s breathtaking ascent without realizing that he always moved into battle backed by abundant cash. Whether riding out downturns or coasting on booms, he kept plentiful reserves and won many bidding contests simply because his war chest was deeper.

 

 

giofranchi

 

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Gio, my favorite quote was

 

"I would have every man a capitalist, every man, woman, and child.  I would have everyone save his earnings, not squander it; own the industries, owns the railroads, own the telegraph lines."

 

Jay,

great quote indeed! But I haven’t got to that one yet… I bought this book some years ago, after finishing “Poor Charlie’s Almanack”, but without the aid of an audiobook, I had always postponed its reading. Now that the audiobook is finally available, I am literally devouring it! And I am just quoting the most interesting ideas I encounter as the audiobook proceeds. Hope some people might find those ideas as useful as they are for me! :)

 

giofranchi

 

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He believed there was a time to think and then a time to act. He brooded over problems and quietly matured plans over extended periods. Once ha had made up his mind, however, he was no longer troubled by doubts and pursued his vision with undeviating faith.

 

 

giofranchi

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  • 3 weeks later...

He believed there was a time to think and then a time to act. He brooded over problems and quietly matured plans over extended periods. Once ha had made up his mind, however, he was no longer troubled by doubts and pursued his vision with undeviating faith.

 

 

giofranchi

 

One of my favorite lines from a phenomenal book

 

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Thanks for telling us about the audiobook!

I believe I have gio to thank.

I've been listening to it the past two weeks in the car. Almost finished.

I wish the iPod with audible.com would let me speed it up faster than 2x to go through it even quicker.

 

I intend to start on the frackers next.

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I wish the iPod with audible.com would let me speed it up faster than 2x to go through it even quicker.

 

 

LOL!! I have never even tried to listen at 2x speed… That’s why it takes me so long to finish an audiobook!! ;D ;D ;D

 

Gio

 

I discovered it by accident s few months ago.

It's a lifesaver. Especially for the books that are longer than 20 hours or I probably would never finish.:)

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Guest hellsten

Control of self wins the battle, for it means control of others.

--Cettie Rockefeller

Gio

 

Good one to remember especially on Mondays…

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  • 2 weeks later...
As he carefully plotted his moves in order to live to one hundred, Rockefeller placed great store in following the same daily schedule down to the second. Whether in prayer or in wholesome recreation, he still had the Puritan's need to employ every hour profitably.

 

Gio

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