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The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and the Gospel of Wealth (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – November 7, 2006
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About the Author
Andrew Carnegie emigrated from Scotland to the United States in 1848 at the age of 13. At age 65 he sold the Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480 million and devoted the rest of his life to writing and philanthropy.
Top Customer Reviews
Carnegie has a knack for being very productive with his abilities as well as often finding himself in the right place and time. Much of his success could be perceived as lucky; however, it will not take long for any reader to see that the effects of his always going the extra mile permitted Carnegie to stand out as a result of his own principles, hardly dependant on luck.
Carnegie exemplifies what one hopes to find among great men; integrity, honesty, hard work, and a passion for profit. Carnegie's giant success is only matched by his good will to human kind. Carnegie explains his thoughts on why he felt the most immoral thing a man can do is to die rich, thus he spent his retirement giving as much of his wealth away as possible. The evidence of Carnegie's lasting name and historical significance provides ample reason to read this Carnegie autobiography. His candidness and honest approach make this book even better.
He rubbed elbows with the wealthy and politicians (including presidents) both in America and abroad. It gets a little tiring after awhile reading about his interactions with these people (thus the lower rating). It is like reading his diary. However, it does give you a feel for the culture at that time.
What I find with autobiographies is that the authors usually portray themselves in the best light. This book is no different. He likes to identify himself as a friend of the worker, which he tried to be. There was a strike at his plant in which workers were killed. He blamed that on his manager because it happened while he was abroad. I've read in other places that there is skepticism about that.
He also gives his thoughts on philanthropy in his The Gospel of Wealth chapter at the end of the book. He gave away millions to establish libraries. He believes in the estate tax because, as he says it, "By taxing estates heavily at death the State (his capitalization) marks its condemnation of the selfish millionaire's unworthy life" (page 330). He says that the rich should give their money away to charitable institutions during their lifetime because the rich would know how it should best be distributed, and that the money should not be given in small sums to individuals because they would not, in general, know how to spend it wisely (I'm assuming because they would also be rich if they knew how to spend it). There was very much the paternal feeling I got when I read J.P. Morgan's biography - the wealthy are stewards of capital because the common people can not be trusted with it.
Reading this was like stepping back into time as it was all written by Andrew himself in his private diaries around 100 - 150 years ago. Compelling work of history, family, business and ethics all combined into one 336 page book.
I find it pretty humbling to find out that he was once the second riches man in the country, only to give away his entire fortune to charities at the end of his life and after his passing on. This man made fortunes then proceeded to give away most of his $350,000,000 in wealth.
He opened thousands of libraries, music halls and parks for the public to enjoy. These were great feats in his time as there were not many libraries around 150 years ago. Nowadays of course you can find one in most every town and city in developed countries.
His philosophies on creating the best products, providing outstanding customer service and doing business with partners is really insiteful to read. Pretty amazing to think he started out at $1.20 a week as a teen to go on to amass one of the largest fortunes in America in his time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book which is loaded with wisdom that can be used even in today's business clime and life. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.Published 15 days ago by ExpertMichael
A fascinating autobiography of one of the richest people in the united states.Published 17 days ago by tom benjamin
My wife wanted this book, so I bought it for her. She said that she really enjoyed it and found the man to be very interesting.Published 1 month ago by Brandon Midboe
I looked up Andrew Carnegie at wikipedia, and it confirms that Carnegie made his money as an "insider". Read morePublished 7 months ago by R. Huntington
I absolutely love this book! At the time of this writing I am on chapter 6 out of 29. One of my favorite things about this book is Carnegie's vocabulary. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mr. Accounting Tutor