Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business written by Harold C. Livesay, is a narrative account of Andrew Carnegie's life as a businessman. Chronicling events on his life as a poor bobbin boy to become later the world's richest man and his ways of doing business. This account gives insight into how a boy went from rags to riches Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. Because of a decline of weavers and the rise of textile factories, the Carnegie family moved to the United States. Andrew's father took a job at the Blackstock Cotton Mill, while young Andrew started as a bobbin boy at the same mill. A year later he took a job as a telegraph messenger boy, from there he got his next job at a railroad. And from here on, his career started to rise. He developed a good sense for stocks and bought his first at the age of twenty. He invested in railroads, oil, iron, and the railroad sleeping car which he invested and pushed for the rail lines. All this made him very rich. He also learned of the Bessemer process of making steel and investigated it thoroughly. He opened mills and established contracts to sell steel ties to railroad companies. He later established his own company, Carnegie Steel, which was the biggest steel company at the time. Andrew eventually gave much of his money to charity. He also built libraries museums other cultural centers and the Peace Palace at the Hague in the Netherlands. He did all these and more before he died peacefully in his sleep on August 11, 1919.
This book showed me that working hard alone cannot bring a person great accomplishments and fortunes but rather one must work hard and smart to fulfill these goals. Knowing that he cannot rely on his father on his livelihood forever, he went on his own to get a job and tried to learn from it whatever that would benefit him in his future endeavors. I could see from this that people should be independent and try to learn more from whatever they are doing for nothing bad could come out of it but only greater knowledge. Carnegie wrote a book, The Gospel of Wealth, in which he wrote that people of wealth should consider all revenues in excess of their own needs as "trust funds" to be used for the good of the community. He was only one of the many great industrialists who devoted large parts of their fortunes to philanthropic works. I for one very much supports this idea. For a part of our achievements, we owe it to society in making us what we are today. This book is informative enough in showing one person's life of business dealings and friendship. Carnegie's refusal to help a good friend company in times of distress cost him the friendship but saved his own credit. If Carnegie help Scott, he would have dragged all his partners down in the wreckage. In the business world, one could only help to the limit of not sacrificing one's business.
In conclusion, I found this book enjoyable and insightful. The author wrote the book in a very chronological manner that is easy for the reader to understand. For Carnegie, it could be said that he, one of the biggest robber barons, helped build the United States physically as well as educationally with steel and books, and that we can learn many things from this man in making our lives more useful and meaningful. Andrew Carnegie was a man definitely worthy to be respected and emulated, and I would very much recommend this book to everyone.