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Publisher's Summary

Against a richly detailed backdrop of history, the story of this unique American family unfolds. It begins with John D. Rockefeller Sr., who amassed a fortune amid the muck and disorder of the Pennsylvania oil fields and left his son to deal with the public outcry. It follows Rockefeller Jr. as he built the charities and foundations that made the name a public institution. And it tracks the lives of the 5 Rockefeller brothers. Here then is Laurance, clever and charming as a youth, burned out and cynical by middle age; Winthrop, the shy, awkward, black sheep who finally made a mark for himself in the eyes of everyone but his family; JDR3, introverted and anxious even after years of proving himself; David, a man on the move who took the nation's front-ranking bank and made it number 3; and Nelson, ambitious, aggressive, the brother who broke the unwritten family code.
©1976 by Peter Collier and David Horowitz; (P)1993 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • Rohit
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 05-25-07

Too Long

When I started reading the book, I was thrilled with the fact that I am reading about Mr. Rockefeller, the person who created Standard Oil. Little did I know that the book deals more with the lives of the other members of the Rockefeller family. The lives of John D Rockefeller (Senior as well as the Junior) is only around 40% of the entire book. It deals with the four generations of Rockfellers. I found the book a bit lengthy and at times boring as it went too much of detailing. Read it, keeping in mind that you are not only reading about the person who created Standard Oil, but about three generations on how the 'Oil Money' impacted their lives.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Roger
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 03-29-13

A hard listen

This book was disappointing on a couple of levels. 1) the target was too broad and therefore the level of detail insufficient, 2) the presentation was the worst I have ever heard. Chronic editing problems where the performer spoke softly while reading the majority and then would get this blaring voice in voice-overs where he didn't. Further, the reading in my mind wasn't fully appropriate as he switched to his..."lesser" voice when reading quotes from certain people, certainly several of the Rockefellers, but also all women. The voice that is put on is whiny and unpleasant, which for the first many hours you think is his projection of an opinion of Jr., but later learn it's an artifact of the presentation which changes the emotional reaction to certain characters in an unfortunate way.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A flashback to the '70s

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Would not recommend.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The first and second chapters, covering the rise of John D. Rockefeller and "Junior" were very well done. The sections covering the third and fourth generation were much more diluted. The people were far less interesting and yet they were given as much attention as the truly great John D and Junior.

Did Michael Anthony do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, although I can't explain "how." I could always tell when and which character was talking.

Do you think The Rockefellers needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Hard to say whether or not a follow-up is necessary. At the time the book was written, the third generation was still mid-stream, and the whiny fourth generation were mid-stream in their self-absorption. If they accomplished anything worthwhile it might be worth hearing.

Any additional comments?

Audible needs to have "The Tycoons" available, as well as something along the lines of "The Men Who Built America."<br/>

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I'd get Abrdiged next time

Would you listen to The Rockefellers again? Why?

I thought it was good - lots of history - but by the 4th generation - well who are they and what are they doing - wasn't that interested - the first Guy and then the ones after for 2nd and 3rd generation up to lots! Too long - 32 hours or more - too much.

What other book might you compare The Rockefellers to and why?

I also did Carnegie - that's a lot of listening too! Was good though but too long.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Vicky
  • 11-27-10

the rockefellers

very interesting book but such a shame that the recording is a little echoey in places and also that the narrator cannot pronouce french words correctly

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rory
  • 04-04-13

It's in-between the lines

Interesting listen. I was hoping for a few secretes but as the very last line clearly states, this book was heavily vetted. Authors very clever in some small passages though as they either immediately or at a latter point completely contradict aforementioned statements. eg: "The Rockefellers had no close ties with the communist Russians" Later "No Americans got the red carpet treatment in Moscow like the Rockefellers"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful