Wonderfully written biography. Makes me want to read more Chernow.
JDR was a flawed man, certainly. While an upstanding citizen in his personal life, he was a ruthless business, who destroyed his competitors with glee. Provoked some wonder at the line between the personal and professional. Can someone bloodthirsty in business be considered a good person? Do we give a free pass to things we do in business, perhaps if they’re legal? So long as you don’t break a law, is anything okay?
Regardless, at his height, JDR was the richest single person the world has ever known. He donated a shocking amount of money to worthy causes and gave birth to a bloodline resulting in a governor, a senator, and a vice-president, among dozens of other notables. Without question, he’s one of the most important single people in the history of the United States.