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Preview — Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw
I will declare an interest. As a little lad every Saturday morning I'd shoulder my satchel and set off to my nearest library to exchange my borrowed books. My nearest library then was the Lambeth Carnegie library endowed by the subject of this book and still standing in red brick and yellow stone. I'll come back to the libraries later.
Mr. Nasaw deftly dismisses the conventional explanations. Carnegie did not feel guilty about accumulating a vast fortune. He did not feel he had earned his wealth immorally, let alone ill...more
Carnegie was the proto-typical "poor boy made good" and was one of the richest men in the world. and he was a true conundrum; filthy rich, yet he thought it was his duty to give away as much as he could before he died to philanthropic causes. and, even though he did give away millions to those less fortunate, he had a general...more
There are some character...more
It kind of ran out of steam for me after he retired from the steel business to focus on his philanthropy, especially the world peace bit.
I wanted to hear more about his disagreements with Frick, and would have also liked the book to focus more on his legacy for labor, steel, Pittsburgh, philanthropy etc., instead of just stopping when he died.
I certainly won't call him a nice person until we meet on the other side, but until then Nasaw gives an excellent view into the lifestyle of Andrew Carnegie. While some elementary grammar mistakes find their way...more
Mr. Carnegie was an overly confident man that had his already ample ego augmented by a lot of money. Probably the second-richest man in American history, Carnegie's is the ultimate rags to riches story.
For me the most interesting part of the was the end. Carnegie passionately took up several causes during his l...more
I was born in the steel town of Gary, grew up in Pittsburgh and even worked for US Steel at a former HC Frick mine. But I had no idea about this man who gave birth to a...more
Okay, I finished, though I freely admit I skimmed many sections to get to the ones I was interested in. Here's how to make money in America, the Andrew Carnegie way. Work hard, ride the coattails of important people via toadying and then employ crony tactics with secret groups and coalitions until you have built a ginormous fortune. Luckily, he was just as interested in giving away his fortune as he was amassing it....more
And he would have been a dumb beauty pageant contestant in another life for trying to make one thing possible: world peace. Too bad he didn't get the Nobel for it. But seeing your name on numerous institutions and leaving a legacy of philantrophy? Not bad.
Unfortunately the book is simply too long and too suffused with personal details. I...more
Andrew was thirteen years of age when his family settled in Cresson, PA, near Pittsburgh. He was startled by the bustling...more
It is i...more
He was prophetic in his discussions of the possibility of war. In 1909 he said "It is true that every nation regards and proclaims its own armaments as instruments of Peace only...but just as naturally every nation regards every other nation's armaments as clearly instruments of war...Thus each nation suspects all the others, an only...more
Given the vast subject, critics commend David Nasaw's effort. The author combines thorough and much previously unavailable research in only the second full-length biography of Carnegie in nearly 40 years (Peter Krass's Carnegie, 2002). Despite his talent as a biographer, Nasaw__professor of history at City University of New York and winner of the Bancroft Prize for The Chief, his biography of William Randolph Hearst__at times comes up short in his inability to reconcile Carnegie's contradictory...more
Carnegie lived his own Gospel of Wealth, accumulating a fortune and then giving most of it away in his own lifetime. The contradiction of course is that he made his wealth by brutal treatment of his workers. A 12-hour day in a steel mill hardly encourages one to head to the library after work. Nasaw doesn't attempt to explain the contradiction. Rather he shows the incongruity over and over again through Carnegie's...more
At 800+ pages, this definitely feels very well-researched and thorough. I learned a huge amount about this steel-baron philanthropist. I learned enough about him to know that I probably wouldn't have liked him in person but I can't help admire his desire to give away all of his money - especially to fund libraries. The fact that all his donations...more
It’s a balanced book becaus...more