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....
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.
Very long book. I actually have to listen to it again to remember the first half of it.
I liked his book with Napoleon Hill better.
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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