Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

Book - 2006
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Penguin Putnam
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 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 in 1835, Andrew 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With a trove of new material-unpublished chapters of Carnegie's Autobiography; personal letters between Carnegie and his future wife, Louise, and other family members; his prenuptial agreement;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.

Baker & Taylor
A National Book Critics Circle Award-nominated biographer chronicles the life of the iconic business titan from his modest upbringing in mid-1800s Scotland through his rise to one of the world's richest men, offering insight into his work as a peace advocate and his motivations for giving away most of his fortune. 120,000 first printing.

& Taylor

Chronicles the life of the iconic business titan from his modest upbringing in mid-1800s Scotland through his rise to one of the world's richest men, offering insight into his work as a peace advocate and his motivations for giving away most of his fortune.

Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2006
ISBN: 9781594201042
Characteristics: xiv, 878 p., [32] p. of plates ; 25 cm


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Ham625 Jun 09, 2013

The book can be tedious at times because the author allows Carnegie to speak via his own correspondence, but this provides a much more revealing picture of the man and his ego. Well done.

Mar 26, 2013

"Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma." NOT REALLY! Try "death merchant" - - yet another financial manipulator and speculator with inside knowledge (held the job as Superintendent of Military Railways and Telegraphs during the Civil War, appointed by his boss who had been appointed as Assistant Secretary of War, Thomas Scott, the creator of the "holding company" to hide ownership of corporations to effect secret monopolies (would later be used quite effectively by Rockefeller's attorney, Cromwell, later of Sullivan and Cromwell). Carnegie parlayed the money he made with inside knowledge used in stock and share investments, and his position, to grab government contracts in iron and steel building, plus aided by his benefactor, Thomas Scott. And do you really believe Carnegie gave away his fortune? Check the outlays to the various trusts he set up in the UK and USA, then compare to the amounts they reaped in investments, and next their outlays? He learned from Holding Company creator and benefactor, Thomas Scott. Frick's best buddy, Andrew Carnegie, was just like Frick, the opposite of a saint! [In John Moody's book (and Moody was the ultimate sycophant of Wall Street, no muckraker he!) "The Masters of Capital" we learn that it was Carnegie and his protege, Schwab, who sold the subs to Germany to sink the Lusitania.]

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist 2007 Pulitzer prize for biography.

Oct 30, 2007

I would definitely recommend this book. It has wonderful detail, but does not get bogged down statistics or balance sheets. It also has a good balance in how it views Carnegie; I did not get a sense of any "agenda" to be proven.


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