The Scottish-born son of a failed weaver and a mother who supported the family by binding shoes, Andrew Carnegie was the embodiment of the American dream. In his rise from a job as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory to being the richest man in the world, he was single-minded, relentless, and a major player in some of the most violent and notorious labor strikes of the time. The prototype of today's billionaire, he was a visionary in the way he earned his money and in the way he gave it away.
Nasaw explains how Carnegie made his fortune and how he tried to pull the world back from a war he predicted. Brimming with new material, personal letters, diaries, prenuptial agreements, letters to and from presidents and prime ministers, Nasaw plumbs the core of this fascinating man, fixing him in his place as one of the most compelling, elusive, and multifaceted personalities of the 20th century.
©2006 David Nasaw; (P)2007 Gildan Media Corp
"This is biography on the grand scale." (Washington Post Book World)
I find Andrew Carnegie was a fascinating man, born into poverty in Scotland during a time of economic upheaval to a hardworking mother and a father who was not. In his lifetime he made and gave away millions of dollars. I learned that he was a very hard worker who appeared to intuitively know what he needed to do to take himself to the next level of success.
I bought this book from Audible and found its 32 hour and 45 minute length to be way to long. I began the book with a high level of interest and really enjoyed the first third of the book, but the remainder of the book just seemed to drone on and on. The reading of letters written by Carnegie and the people in his life held no interest for me.
Andrew’s later life of marriage and fatherhood are not covered well by this book, but that is probably because there is not a lot of information available about that part of his life. The information that is available focuses on his philanthropic pursuits, business dealings and political machinations.
I have to admit that I fast forwarded through most of this book playing it at 2x speed and toward the end I scrubbed past chunks of it that were boring me to tears.
Carnegie wrote letters profusely and you get to know the man and his amazing story. It was a little annoying that the author clearly hated Carnegie for being a capitalist, but Andrew's character shines through regardless.
He was one of the most influential capitalist that influenced business and morals. A advocate for peace, and uplifting of mankind. He wasn't perfect but what mortal is?
Very in depth telling of Carnegie's life. Surprised by the amount of letters that were available and made part of this book. Added a lot to parts and in others definitely not necessary. I will be listening to this again.
I read this book because I've read most of the Think and Grow Rich books which are based on Carnegie's philosophy. I wanted more insight into the man that made charitable giving into a business. I will do further research into how he set up his trusts. I want to emulate what he did.
Grover Gardner has a very natural story-telling voice which draws you in and keeps you wanting more.
This book has made Carnegie seem more human in many ways for I have always had an almost a God-like perception of him after reading the Gospel of Wealth essay.
This book also made me want to visit Scotland!
Less about his business, more about his charity and politics. Overall still a good read about AC's life. Amazing how much he can and has accomplished by writing letters.
Capture a lot of the dynamic personality of Carnegie while not ignoring his foibles. As with most biographical works, it possessed its own bias, but it was milder than most. It captured the complex nature of the man and the inherent dichotomy of a philanthropic robber baron.
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