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Steel Titan: The Life of Charles M. Schwab Paperback – October 9, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press; 1st edition (October 9, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822959062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822959069
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An excellent book based on extensive research in public and private archives, including those of Bethlehem Steel. . . . Informative, insightful, and a pleasure to read."
--American Historical Review

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TW VINE VOICE on April 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I first became aware of Charles Schwab when reading Andrew Carnegie's autobiography. Carnegie regarded Schwab as a prominent up and comer in industry for both his people skills as well as his work ethic; thus I knew he was someone I wanted to know more about. It is not often that a business book is difficult to put down, particularly one in the steel industry. Hessen delivers an emphatic success as Steel Titan kept me engrossed from start to finish.

Schwab earned recognition by putting together the conglomerate that produced US Steel, the largest steel corporation in history. By convincing Andrew Carnegie to sell his business interests and joining the original JP Morgan to finance the giant new company, Schwab displayed a shrewdness that elevated him to elite status among the kings of deal making.

Schwab became the first man on record to receive a million dollar annual salary in 1901 with US Steel, but left the company within two years due to the inefficiencies he saw being permitted. He purchased Bethlehem Steel, a near insignificant operation at the time, and built it into a giant of its own, second only to US Steel for many years.

Ironically, outside of the business world, Schwab's outlook on life could not have been further from the view of his original mentor, Andrew Carnegie. Schwab was a player, a partier, a high roller, and believed wholeheartedly that it was more morally just to spend frivolously than to give to charity; a thought based on the fact that he was giving back to the economy no matter how he spent his money, something hard to argue. As a result, Schwab, who at one time was worth millions and millions of dollars, spent himself into a near penniless stage dying without any money to his name.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Venable on June 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read this book hoping for insight into the life of steel titan Charles Schwab equal to Wall's great biography of Schwab's benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. I found some interesting facts but not a lot of color. I wasn't quite sure whether there just wasn't that much genuinely interesting in his life, in addition to his being a successful corporate sort of guy, or whether things were being left out by the author, who is or was part of the Hoover institution at Stanford. I hope Kenneth Warren's life of Schwab (2007) has a richer story to tell.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pablo on October 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Excellent book to read if you are interested in one of the lesser-remembered "Robber Barons," protege of Andrew Carnegie, and really an extraordinary person. Many of Schwab's business principles would serve executives well today. I enjoyed reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mark j fitzgerald on June 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love industrial history and this book gave me so much info on the steel industry.
I am a Bethlehem Steel fan and this book gave me the insight about Charlie Schwab
that I never knew about. Definitely good reading.
Mark
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone interested in the history of business and industry, especially the steel industry, USX or Bethlehem Steel in particular, will love this book. Schwab had a fascinating roller coaster like life and the author, Robert Hessen, does not "sugar coat" the bad times. What struck me most is how pioneers like Carnegie and Schwab in the steel industry really did resemble modern-day pioneers like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. They all started in an industry, and then were able to visualize new products and processes to take that industry where it had never been before. They worked slavishly and took tremendous financial risks, but in the end they were rewarded for their efforts.
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