The definitive account of the life of Andrew Carnegie Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called “a meticulous. Born of modest origins in Scotland in , Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. His rags to riches story has never been told as. Robber baron? Capitalist butcher? Angel? Industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie has been many things to many people, and in this.
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Majestically told and based on materials not available to any previous biographer, the definitive life of Andrew Carnegie-one of American business’s most iconic and elusive titans-by the bestselling author of The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst. Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called “a meticulous researcher and a cool Majestically told and based on materials not available to any previous biographer, the definitive life of Andrew Carnegie-one of American business’s most iconic and elusive titans-by the bestselling author of The Chief: Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called “a meticulous researcher and a cool analyst,” brings new life to the story of one of America’s most famous and successful businessmen and philanthropists- in what will prove to be the biography of the season.
Born of modest origins in Scotland inAndrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. His rags to riches story has never been told as dramatically and vividly as in Nasaw’s new biography. Carnegie, the son of an impoverished linen weaver, moved to Pittsburgh at the age of thirteen. The embodiment of the American dream, he pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to become the richest man in the world.
He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace. For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public-a wildly successful businessman and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism-Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma.
Nasaw explains how Carnegie made his early fortune and what prompted him to give it all away, how he was drawn into the campaign first against American involvement in the Spanish-American War and then for international peace, and how he used his friendships with presidents and prime ministers to try to pull the world back from the brink of disaster.
With a trove of new material-unpublished chapters of Carnegie’s Autobiography ; personal letters between Carnegie and his future wife, Louise, and other family members; his prenuptial agreement; diaries of family and close friends; his applications for citizenship; his extensive correspondence with Henry Clay Frick; and dozens of private letters to and from presidents Grant, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, and British prime ministers Gladstone and Balfour, as well as friends Herbert Spencer, Matthew Arnold, and Mark Twain-Nasaw brilliantly plumbs the core of this facinating and complex man, deftly placing his life in cultural and political context as only a master storyteller can.
Hardcoverpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Andrew Carnegieplease sign up. In it, Mr Hill mentions that this book and other authored by him came into existence thanks to the ideas and proding of his personal friend Andrew Carnegie.
So, I wonder if Mr Carnegie reciprocated in any way or if even makes any mention of Napoleon Hill at all? Wikipedia says that Hill was commissioned by Carnegie, and that …more I have no recollection of Napoleon Hill being mentioned in Nasaw’s book on Carnegie. Wikipedia says that Hill was commissioned by Carnegie, and that which he was commissioned to do would seem to fit Carnegie’s character – evolutionary, deterministic.
So in that sense, being commissioned, there is likely no reciprocation – Carnegie could buy the best, and often did. See 2 questions about Andrew Carnegie…. Lists with This Book.
This is a solid biography that raises a crucial question that it never answers. As a result it has a very interesting subject but for the wrong reasons. I will declare an interest. As a little lad every Saturday morning I’d shoulder my green satchel and set off to my anxrew library to exchange my borrowed books. My nearest library then was the Lambeth Carnegie library view spoiler [ since my legs were short then this still involved the long march down Fawnbrake Avenue pass the Monkey puzzle tree This is a solid biography that raises a crucial question that it never answers.
Daivd nearest library then was the Lambeth Carnegie library view spoiler [ since my legs were short then this still involved the long march down Fawnbrake Avenue pass the Monkey puzzle tree view spoiler [ but since Nationalists didn’t control the intersections during daylight hours it was safe enough view spoiler [ at night perhaps the Davud reestablished control over strategic waypoints on the path to the library – it was hard to know – at the time I’d have been in bed with the bed lamp on reading library books hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ] hide spoiler ] endowed by the subject of this book and still standing nasaaw red brick and yellow stone view spoiler [ although I think it is no longer a library but instead a contentious local issue and potentially on the way to becoming a gymnasium or something view spoiler [ which for the classical Andres would have been fine and appropriate no doubt ccarnegie spoiler ] hide spoiler ].
I’ll come back to the libraries later. The question is how did Carnegie get rich. If Carnegie is the embodiment of the American Dream this is important.
In other words to succeed you don’t need hard work and application, you need someone to give you a handful of carnegid beans. Carnegie was not a source of creativity in the steel industry carnegiie the book makes clear. Rather his access to capital was his competitive advantage – he was able to buy successful steelworks and subsidiary industries, buy expertise, buy patent security, buy political support for armaments projects that required steel and to break strikes.
Hard work and application make a Frick though he got shot for his efforts along the way. Magic beans however make you a titan of industry. Clearly I catnegie from Carnegie’s philanthropy. However I can’t help feeling that once you’ve accrued a certain amount of wealth that giving it away becomes a more interesting past time than accumulating more it particularly when giving it away involves asserting your superiority over other people and institutions, here I will point out that carnegid cover features a very small man wearing a very tall hat.
Local authorities farnegie to ask Carnegie for the money for the capital investment to build the libraries, but in order to get it had to demonstrate that they would fund the running costs.
By the late s, andreww s when I was going to the library I should think that what had been spent on the operating naszw was comfortably in excess of the capital cost of andgew. However this the story of a Plutocrat deciding how an elected authority should spend it’s money.
While I’m happy about the object of investment I’m disturbed at the principle. The power game seems apparent when relatively modest endowments at time of construction would have paid for maintenance, stock and staff, particularly as he was earning money faster through earned interest than he could give it away. It is more troubling to think that the money was generated through the long working hours and low wages of his employees and that he didn’t invest in libraries in those communities where possibly the children of those employees could have studied, improved themselves and escaped poverty or made more of a contribution to the economy.
But then philanthropy is a form of conspicuous consumption, the potlatch winner. Reading between the lines the nature of 19th century capitalism is clear – access to capital is everything.
Being a cheery telegraph boy who looks as though he can keep his mouth shut doesn’t hurt either. View all 16 comments. Apr 13, Chrissie rated it really liked it Shelves: I am certainly glad to have read this book. I had no idea that I would come to first carbegie the man and then pity him. Read the book and find out why. Andrew Carnegie — was born in Dunfermline, Carnegir. His father, a weaver made jobless by industrialization, moved the entire family to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA, in The father having little ambition and the family meagre income, Andrew, being the oldest son, began work as a bobbin boy.
He worked his way up to telegraph messen I am certainly glad to have read this book. He worked his way up to telegraph messenger, then telegraph operator. Both Andrew and his mother had higher visions and plans. We follow his path year by year.
Following the doctrine of philosopher Herbert Spencer, dzvid dedicated the remaining years of his life to philanthropy and peace. As steel tycoon he was ruthless and pushed his men to the utmost, showing no compassion or understanding for workers.
His goal in life to make as much money as possible so he could return it to the poor is blind to the fact that what a worker wants is not a gift or an endowment or access to a library, but decent wages enabling adequate living standards!
While others are slaving away, he Andrew who is so intelligent, clever and wise worked only a few hours a day! He traveled, entertained, owned sumptuous houses and accoutrements, read, wrote and gave speeches lecturing others on the proper way of living.
He was so full of himself, self-satisfied, ebullient and jocular, but totally unaware of the fact that he was a total pain in the butt to the dignitaries, presidents, and emperors whom he saw as his equals. His behavior is pitiful to observe! Pitiful also because his optimistic enthusiasm in support of arbitration and negotiation, for a League of Peace and a World Court fell on deaf ears.
Not a soul was listening. A hypocrite and an idealist. This book shows you the whole man. We see what he does, how he acts and what he says, year by year. The chapters move forward chronologically a few years at a time.
The research is thorough and not one-sided. At times the information included is excessive. Many quotes are provided both about Carnegie and by him.
We lean about the man from how he expresses himself.
Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw
The author does comment on the veracity of that said, but occasionally I would have appreciated further analysis. On completion of the book there remain for me some questions. What was it that induced Carnegie while still young to give away his riches? We are referred to his ardent support of Herbert Spencer, but is that the whole explanation? I think he had an inner need to be looked up to, to be exalted and to be praised. What is the cause of this? He married in at the age andeew 52 and only after her death.
What is the explanation ansaw the hold she had on him? The audiobook is narrated by Grover Gardner. I liked it a lot, so four stars. It is easy to follow and clear. He neither dramatizes nor uses separate intonations for family members or friends. Andrew Carnegie Is not your normal person.
We are all aware of his philanthropy but here is the man behind the deeds.