Andrew Carnegie Explains The “Gospel of Wealth”, 1889
Author: Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), “Wealth”, North American Review 148 (June, 1889)
Place and Time: “Gospel of Wealth”/“Wealth”, North American Review 148 (June, 1889), Place: Unknown
Prior Knowledge: Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist, businessman, entrepreneur and a major philanthropist. Carnegie was born in Scotland, and migrated to the United States as a child with his parents. His first job in the United States was as a factory worker in a bobbin factory. Later on he became a bill logger for the owner of the company. Soon after, he became a messenger boy. Eventually he progressed up the ranks of a telegraph company. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which was later merged with Elbert H. Gary's Federal Steel Company and several smaller companies to create U.S. Steel. With the fortune he made from business among others he built Carnegie Hall, later he turned to philanthropy and interests in education, such as finding the Carnegie Corporation of New York and other educational institutions named after him. Carnegie donated most of his money to establish many libraries, schools, and universities in America, the United Kingdom and other countries, as well as a pension fund for former employees. He is often regarded as the second-richest man in history after John D. Rockefeller.
Audience: Carnegie’s view on wealth was expressed to mainly those who were wealthy organizations or individuals that could have been using their financial advantages in charitable and philanthropic ways to better humanity.
Reason: Carnegie based his philosophy on the observation that the heirs of large fortunes frequently squandered them in riotous living rather than nurturing and growing them.
The Main Idea: The central thesis of Carnegie's essay was the peril of allowing large sums of money to be passed into the hands of persons or organizations ill-equipped mentally or emotionally...
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