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The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie
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The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  30 reviews
After retiring from active business, Andrew Carnegie yielded to the earnest solicitations of friends, both in the United States and in Great Britain, and began to jot down from time to time recollections of his early days. He soon found, however, that instead of the leisure he expected, his life was more occupied with affairs than ever before, and the writing of these memo...more
Hardcover, 412 pages
Published September 17th 2007 by FQ Classics (first published 1920)
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Elasha
OK, I'd give it 3.5 stars. Carnegie is actually a very good writer, well-versed in literacy and history and politics. If I were better versed in those things I'd have rated it higher, but the book dragged a bit for me because of all the things/places/people I didn't know much about (but probably should). I very much enjoyed learning about his life and his rise from poverty, was impressed by his work ethic and morals, and was amazed at his society - he mingled with presidents from our country and...more
Kyle Ballard
First half was enjoyable to read, but the last half was awful. For heck sakes "Andy" you were one of the richest men in the 19th century, but your writing about yourself was boring....He did give lots of background on the way he came up and I did enjoy several bits of wisdom for many different situations. However, it was a tad bit boring and I don't think he was as nice to his employees as he made it:) I'm glad I read it and understand the man that made the industry in which I make a living at....more
Teri
Intriguing book about a man who started with nothing, worked hard and valued education (in many forms), became extremely wealthy, then left all his money to charity.

He shares much about his business life from which I saved several quotes. You rarely find his kind of integrity in the business world now-a-days.
Mick Child
A very interesting and well written account of one of America's most successful and generous businessmen. Carnegie gives a detailed description of his early days; the manner in which he got started in business, from his initial forays into investments to his wildly successful enterprising in the steel industry, then later, the extraordinary way in which he went about distributing his wealth when he felt he had amassed enough riches.
The latter part of the book is spent on sharing personal anecdot...more
Patrick Ross
As great as biographies are, there's something to be said for going straight to the source. And Andrew Carnegie's autobiography starts out strong. His story of his childhood in Scotland, his emigration to America as a young teen, and his early career as a driven young man is fascinating. Also intriguing is a progressive streak dating back to his earliest memories that foreshadows a future philanthropist who once said any man who dies with money dies a failure. Let it also be said that Carnegie i...more
Javier
First half was great. Second half not so. My favorite part was his description of Abraham Lincoln. During the Civil War, Carnegie was in charge of telegraphy communications between the North and the South and Lincoln would stop by his office waiting for a telegram. He described Lincoln as being kind to everyone even to the lowest ranking employee and as a great story-teller.

It was interesting to hear his side of the story on the Homestead Strike. He believed that if he would have been home and n...more
La pointe de la sauce
A man must necessarily occupy a narrow field who is at the beck and call of others.' - Andrew Carniege

Booker T Washington recommended that I present myself at the altar of Mr. Carniege, a man I hitherto knew nothing about. In the spirit of rebellion I will discuss Booker T Washington in the hope that GR reviewers like myself are allowed to freely express our non structured thoughts on our reviews. Unlike GR/Amazon we have no interest in peddling books and where do they draw the line, next they
...more
Joanna
It’s nice and surprising to see that so many people on Goodreads have read this book. I have been doing a fair amount of reading about 19th century America and this is how I happened to come across this surprising book. I agree with others that this book has some literary flaws but it is a good autobiography. Carnegie turns out to have been a very interesting man who took great interest in the people around him, was an astute observer of people and a very caring and loyal friend. He was a man of...more
Brad Mclaws
Love to read about business history. It doesn't get more historical than Carnegie, except Vanderbilt and Rockerfeller. Carnegie was probably a good man and a good business man. It is hard to know for sure as this is an autobiography of an astoundingly successful guy. But he seems to be a good man in spite of his vast wealth. He is different from almost all the monopolists in that he spent the back half of his life giving away all his wealth.
Rich
Mr. Carnegie is quite the name-dropper and self-congratulatory in this work. In fact, the format of his autobiography revolves around the famous and historical people he had met, and with whom he had interacted.

Still, it was fascinating to read. So much changed and developed during his lifetime! The book can provide encouragement and hope that such an impoverished child could indeed grow up and (with hard work) become successful, if not wealthy & influential.

My only caution is his theology....more
Steve
It was inspiring to read his rags to riches story and all about the good he did with it. The end few chapters about world leaders and politics got boring, though.
Rich Paquette
Overall a good book. The older language was true to the time. The first 3/4 was very interesting and fairly objective in nature. The last 1/4 sounded like a feeble attempt to justify one's self against public perception. The transition from humble innovator to pompous philanthropist was unfortunate. The distribution of wealth was a noble deed but he had clearly forgotten how to be humble, and his writing clearly articulates that.
Stephanie
Love Andrew Carnegie's story, especially as it relates to his childhood and the impact reading and self-education had on him. Fascinating to hear about events like the Civil War and the early 20th century through his eyes.
Gary Mccallister
First half was fascinating. His hard work, ambition, family commitment was fascinating. The latter half was mostly name dropping and business deals. Except he did manage to give all his wealth away in the interest of public education. Libraries may seem old fashioned today, but they built the world of today.
Jeff
This was really excellent, better than I'd expected. Carnegie is a surprisingly good author and his narrative of his life makes for a very interesting read. I'd definitely recommend it for history buffs and people who have an interest in the psychology of a turn-of-the-century industrialist.

Favorite quote, in reference to the telescope at an observatory that he sponsored: "When the monster new glass, three times larger than any existing, is in operation, what revelations are to come! I am assur...more
Greg
For about half its length, it's hard to put down. For the last half, it's hard to pick back up. Kind of like the way the Bible got boring just a few pages in, the second half reads like a steel-age Numbers. Still, the interest in his prognostications pulled me through. Some were so entertainingly off that they bought a few more pages of interest, like his last claim in 1912 that Germany would be the bringer of world peace. Yikes!
Matt
Rags to riches type of life. Teaches you how far hard work and initiative can take you. Since it is from his perspective, I'm sure it has some personal spin, but I don't mind. This guy accomplished a lot to be sure. Not everyone agrees with all that he did. It espouses the kind of values I want my kids to understand. Up there with Benjamin Franklin's autobiography.
Ross
Full of great bits of advice and knowledge, written by someone who actually walked the walk.

This book is necessarily told from Carnegie's own perspective, and the reader has to keep that in mind when Carnegie describes his role in some of the more controversial events of his life.
David Mcdonald
I was very inspired by Carnegie's hard work as a youth. There are a lot of good lessons there. It does slow down quite a bit about 2/3 of the way through. He begins talking about all of the people he knows, and it is merely reminiscent at that point. Very inspiring for the most part, however, and I would recommend it, especially for young people.
Alan Barr
This is an old book, and it takes a bit of getting used to the style. It does repay the effort and gives an insight into the life of a very influential man, who lived in another era. Both social history and human nature are laid out. A bonus is that if you own an ebook reader this is freely available free.
Christopher Lewis Kozoriz
"The man who dies rich dies disgraced." ~ Andrew Carnegie

In his time, the richest man in the world. He made his fortune in the steel business. It is interesting to read the recount of his upbringing and how he went up each rung of the ladder to attain success.
Andrew
It is an amazing story about a family with the common thread of love at its core. Carnegie himself is a man of integrity and; he never forgets the people who helped him and the family on the way up.A good read. Especially for me as a fellow Fifer/Scotsman.
Debra
A very well written and inspiring autobiography. A lot of history of the early american industrial period. Puts a lot of things into perspective for us moderns.
Carol Spears
I was looking for something that would be similar to "The History of Standard Oil" and this was more often like "How much fun Andy had being a philanthropist".
LIBBY
Great book. It is as if you have touched a piece if history and saw it for the fitst time.
Jordan
I always appreciate hearing and learning directly from the source.
Tom
A very interesting life. Certinly achieved much.
Chris Leal
Good read. There's a FREE copy on Amazon.
Vera Pajk
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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“Not only had I got rid of the theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution.” 3 likes
“The result of my journey was to bring a certain mental peace. Where there had been chaos there was now order. My mind was at rest. I had a philosophy at last. The words of Christ "The Kingdom of Heaven is within you," had a new meaning for me. Not in the past or in the future, but now and here is Heaven within us. All our duties lie in this world and in the present, and trying impatiently to peer into that which lies beyond is as vain as fruitless.” 1 likes
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