The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: Worlds to Conquer, 1908-1958, Volume 1

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Doubleday, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 875 pages
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A triumph of the biographer's art, "The Life of Nelson A. Rockefeller" is the first full-length biography of one of the most powerful, magnetic, fascinating figures on the twentieth-century stage.

Of all the great American dynastic families, few could match the combinedwealth, power, and influence of the Rockefellers. And of all the Rockefellers, none was more determined to use these advantages than Nelson A. Rockefeller.

Nelson was never content to live off the fame and fortune due him as aRockefeller. His imperious grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, and intimidatingfather, John Jr., set standards and boundaries that Nelson blithely ignored. Hepushed for position within the family, and then broke a family taboo by takinghis ambition to the forbidden world of politics. A devoted family man, he tookmany lovers with an almost casual sense of "droit du seigneur." Hesurrounded himself with brilliant, devoted subordinates; he flattered andcajoled more powerful people who would also end up serving his needs.

Handsome, ferociously energetic, charming, and ruthless, Rockefeller had arapacious appetite for life--and for power--that showed itself in the stunningbreadth of his activities and in the daring of his ideas. Nelson's sunny, optimistic demeanor masked a Machiavellian mind. At a young age he wrestedcontrol of the Rockefeller Center project from his father's minions, turned theMuseum of Modern Art into a world-class institution, used a midlevelbureaucratic position during World War II to run the affairs of an entirecontinent; through pure ego and drive he bent the United Nations conference tohis will and redirected the path of history. Nelson A. Rockefeller's fiercedrive to achievewould have a profound effect on a city, a state, a nation, andthe world.

Cary Reich's masterful biography, eight years in the making, brings thisawesome figure to life. Reich enjoyed unprecedented access to the Rockefellerfamily archives, scrutinized FBI and FOIA files, and interviewed over threehundred individuals for the book, including many who had never spoken aboutRockefeller for the record. This two-volume work (the second to appear in 1997)will surely stand alongside the works of Robert Caro, Doris Kearns Goodwin, andDavid McCullough.

Cary Reich is the author of "Financier: The Biography of AndrTMeyer." He is the former executive editor of "Institutional Investor" and has written numerous portraits of the powerful and the wealthy. He is therecipient of numerous journalism awards, including the Overseas Press Award, the Deadline Club Award, and the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Businessand Financial Journalism. He lives in New York City.

Praise for Cary Reich's "Financier: The Biography Of AndrTMeyer":

National Book Award Finalist

"A fascinating mixture of financial history involving household names of thecorporate scene, gossip at rarified altitudes and big bucks. The focus is onpeople, mutual back-scratching, wheeling and dealing through the conglomeratejungle of the 1950s, '60s and '70s."
--Charles Stabler, "The Wall Street Journal"

"I laughed until I cried while reading passages of Cary Reich's chatty, conscientious portrait of Meyer's raids and rages...must reading for anyoneinterested in contemporary finance."
--Eliot Janeway, "Los Angeles Times Book Review"

"This book is fun to read. Mr. Reich, while prudently avoiding heavy legalandaccounting exegesis, has a talent for the clear explanation of essentialtechnical detail."
--Robert Lekachman, "New York Times Book Review"

"Hard-edged and uncompromising...a lucid and well-researched account."
--James Wolfensohn, "The New Republic"

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THE LIFE OF NELSON A. ROCKEFELLER: Worlds to Conquer: 1908-1958

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An epic, revealing biography that becomes, in its author's words, ``a study in the unapologetic use of a great fortune to secure influence.'' In this first of two projected volumes on the four-term ... Read full review

The life of Nelson A. Rockefeller: worlds to conquer, 1908-1958

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Public interest in politicians and government figures often fades quickly after their death, and Nelson Rockefeller (he died in 1979) has not proved an exception. Despite his many terms as governor of ... Read full review



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