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Gospel of Wealth (Little Books of Wisdom) Hardcover – May 1, 1998

4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Carnegie's classic essay about the responsibilities of those of great means to use their wealth for the good of society.

About the Author

Andrew Carnegie began working in the steel mills of Pittsburgh at the age of 12. As an adult, he became the owner of Carnegie Steel Company. After it was sold, the company became U.S. Steel and Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men of his fay. He spent the rest of his life giving his vast wealth to help build libraries throughout the world, and fund other worthwhile social projects. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Little Books of Wisdom
  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Applewood Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557094713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557094711
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is about 1/4" thick and is an essay written by Andrew Carnegie in June 1889. It's an interesting perpective on what very wealthy people should do with their money to improve society. He doesn't believe in handing over the cash when you die to your children but rather spending it before you die on free libraries, parks, etc. to improve life for the common man. It was recommended reading from a book on History of Wall Street.
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Format: Hardcover
As a financial and estate planner this essay will redefine my practice. Common people today have accumulated far more wealth than they imagined. There is a struggle to determine the right course. Carnegie, about 100 years ago, had the insight to challange those of means to become trustees of our society. I am motivated and you will be as well. I read this is material that has made a large impact on Bill Gates. For those of you with excess assets PLEASE READ
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Format: Hardcover
Just a quick note, the essay is interesting, but it is in the public domain, and a complete text of the essay can be found with a quick google search. Don't waste your money.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John D. Rockefeller said this book inspired him. A previous reviewer said he read that it inspired Bill Gates too. It is no coincidence that Rockefeller, Gates, and Carnegie were the three greatest philanthropists in American history. These men have contributed more to America than 10,000 average people could. The following are just some of the contributions of the above three men: Carnegie Mellon, U of Chicago, Spellman College, Rockefeller University, medical advancements, public libraries, medical aid, art donations to museums, etc. They could have been like J. Paul Getty and hoarded the money, but they chose (or choose) to be great men.

The book talks about the responsibilities of wealthy people. Wealthy people have the opportunity to help people who don't have much opportunity and Carnegie writes about the responsibility wealthy people have to them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Andrew Carnegie was a saint; he made a lot of money legitimately and even more legitimately decided it was his (Christian) obligation to distribute his wealth to have-nots-- conspicuously in the bequeathal to libraries which dot the American continent (including this Louisville from which I write.)

I read this book from the perspective of a pauper; while I do not have a great material wealth to distribute to a world, I have my poverty for its reasons. The take home message for me was: IF CARNEGIE CAN ASSUME THAT HIS RICHES ARE A GIFT, AND GIVE BACK, THEN I CAN GIVE THE GIFTS OF MY SITUATION TO A WORLD ALSO. What 'I have a lot of' is no-money and schizophrenia (the bane of my family); I can turn around this abundance in a responsible way and through responsible husbanding write my testament-in-blood to a perhaps less than loving world.

So I thank Mr. Carnegie, and take home my message about how I must give back my gift (poverty and psychosis-management) as my GOSPEL, by the changes of change.

--Vernon Lynn Stephens
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Format: Hardcover
For those seeking an inspired depiction of the merits of capitalism shared with the philanthropic views of one of the most chartable men in history, the Gospel of Wealth will garner your interest. It is not often the thoughts of great titans in history are readily available to the public. Whether you agree with Carnegie's views or oppose his very existence, you cannot argue the manner in which he articulates his views is both moving and rational.

The Gospel of Wealth is both brief and available free of charge on the internet; however I reject the notion that Carnegie's work is diminished as a result. This book is a short essay that will take less than thirty minutes to read, but the content is lasting. My review measures the content of the book and accordingly I recommend reading the Gospel of Wealth.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Note: Amazon has grouped together reviews of several different editions of this book; this review is for The Gospel of Wealth (Little Books of Wisdom).

Andrew Carnegie's call upon the excessively wealthy to make a point of truly doing good with their excess wealth is as timely today as when it was first published in the North American Review in June 1889. Besides the obvious of condemning both spending ostentatiously upon oneself or turning one's children into the idle rich, Mr. Carnegie also contrasts unfavorably both the giving of bequests after death and mindlessly donating wealth to charity with his preferred method:

using the skills and wisdom that acquired such vast wealth in the first place in order to wisely donate wealth in ways carefully calculated to do the most good while the donor is still alive to guide things.

Note: Some reviewers have complained that this book is available online for free. Well, yes, what part of in the public domain do you not understand? However, trying to get away with giving someone a printout as a gift will earn you the nickname of cheapskate. If all you want to do is read it yourself, then by all means stick to the free sites. However, if you are looking for a way to get through to someone else, you are better off buying a copy, and a solitary sawbuck for this sturdy pocket-sized reprint is going to be tough to beat. The chief virtue of it being online is your ability to read it first and make sure that this is the book you want to give before ordering it.
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