One of the major figures in American history, Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless businessman who made his fortune in the steel industry and ultimately gave most of it away. He used his wealth to ascend the world's political stage, influencing the presidencies of Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. In retirement, Carnegie became an avid promoter of world peace, only to be crushed emotionally by World War I.
In this compelling biography, Peter Krass reconstructs the complicated life of this titan who came to power in America's Gilded Age. He transports the reader to Carnegie's Pittsburgh, where hundreds of smoking furnaces belched smoke into the sky and the air was filled with acrid fumes . . . and mill workers worked seven-day weeks while Carnegie spent months traveling across Europe.
Carnegie explores the contradictions in the life of the man who rose from lowly bobbin boy to build the largest and most profitable steel company in the world. Krass examines how Carnegie became one of the greatest philanthropists ever known-and earned a notorious reputation that history has yet to fully reconcile with his remarkable accomplishments.
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Andrew Carnegie stands next to J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller as one of the great business leaders in United States history. Immigrating from Scotland as a child, Carnegie rose from the slums of Pittsburgh to become a steel industry titan remembered for his many philanthropic endowments, ranging from free libraries to his work toward world peace.
Yet this complex man embodied the contradictions that divided America in the Gilded Age. Was he truly the tyrant that many thought him to be, a ruthless robber baron who worked his men to death for his own personal gain . . . or was there more to this man who gave away his immense fortune, who has at times been invested with the virtues of a saint?
The first full biography of this industrialist and philanthropist in thirty years, Carnegie delves into the mind of a generous yet ruthless man who wore many masks throughout his life. Peter Krass captures the drama behind the building of Carnegie’s empire, revealing how he manipulated the rules of fair play and how he was a pioneer in philanthropy. He separates fact from the Carnegie legend by relying heavily on diaries, letters, and other writings by both primary and peripheral characters in Carnegie’s life as well as on the copious Carnegie-related archives.
Carnegie was devoted to his family and friends and believed himself to be a hero of the working people. But his actions bespoke internal conflict: he publicly supported the unions–and then wallowed in riches while his laborers struggled to meet their daily needs. From Carnegie’s meager beginnings to his multimillion-dollar fortune, Krass takes a probing, insightful look into what inspired and moved this contradictory business giant.From the Back Cover:
Critical Praise for Carnegie
""Seizing the mantle that J. F. Wall has held since 1970 as Andrew Carnegie's definitive biographer, Peter Krass has written a superb new account of the legendary industrialist and philanthropist's remarkable life.""
""An objective and readable portrait of a fascinating, conflicted man.""
-Dallas Morning News
One of the major figures in American history, Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless businessman who made his fortune in the steel industry and ultimately gave most of it away.
In this compelling biography, Peter Krass reconstructs the complicated life of this titan who came to power in America's Gilded Age, exploring the contradictions in the man who rose from lowly bobbin boy to build the largest and most profitable steel company in the world. Krass examines how Carnegie became one of the greatest philanthropists ever known-and earned a notorious reputation that history has yet to fully reconcile with his remarkable accomplishments.
Selected by Library Journal as one of the best business biographies of 2002
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