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)
Erstwhile librarian and tech salesperson. Favorite genres - history, biography, and mystery.
I would recommend this story because in encompasses the history of late nineteenth and early twentieth century America.
Andrew Carnegie was, in some ways, a pathetic, silly little man who was extremely lucky. He was always in the right place at the right time and knew how to use his luck. He stole from his workers, his country, and his business partners and managed to get away without paying his dues.
His life shows the tragedy of the American Dream. He succeeded, but at what cost to others?
The saddest part of the book, and the most moving, was Carnegie's attempts to affect American politics, specifically his Peace initiatives. I am a big supporter of peace movements, but reading about Carnegie's efforts, I just thought how out of touch he was with the current state of world politics. The author conveyed the sadness and ridiculousness of Carnegie.
The author did a wonderful job of enlightening us on the current world based upon Carnegie's life over 100 years ago without any over politicizing. This is a great book....
David Nasaw seriously needs to produce an abridged version of this book
I enjoyed the stories of elaborate vacations across the world which took up more time than Carnegie's business activities.
The account of the violent confrontation at Carnegie's Homestead factory in 1892 was extremely good - balanced and yet very compelling.
Great biography and very informative. Just very long.
the very best
The volume of the book is quite staggering but I never thought of quitting at any part as i have done with some books in the past. As someone who has read both his biography of himself and David Nasaw's, this story of Andrew Carnegie gives another perspective on the life of a real titan of industry and world affairs in an enjoyable narrative starting from pre-birth to the very end. Great read!
A well put together biography with the right level of detail into the life of Andrew Carnegie. You see him not as a unapproachable titan destined to where he ended, but as a nuanced man with the typical characteristics we all have, with the advantage of having been a "boy in the room" at the right time to get his capitalistic start.
Say something about yourself!
Nice performance, very good language, but the story itself... well, it could have been a better drama for such a cornerstone of the American history.
Too much history - when someone was sick and why - too much info - too long! Take the short version! Great story though - self made and hustled - I liked it!
Rockefellers - same thing as above!
The author David Nasaw does a fair job portraying Carnegie;.But He Forgot a very important and historic quantum leap detail.
In the end, this book, although very long, is well written, so that the pages fly quickly.
Carnegie enlisted Napoleon Hill to interview 500 millionaires to obtain the Magic Formula of Success with out pay and took Hill's over 20 years to accomplish this work, but the author did not include any reference about this important historic event, I guess I got really discouraged and will not recommend this book.
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