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Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish- American businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company which later became U. S. Steel. He considered the U. S. as the role model for democratic government. In 1886, he penned his most radical work, entitled Triumphant Democracy. The work was an attempt to argue his view that the American repub Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish- American businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company which later became U. S. Steel. He considered the U. S. as the role model for democratic government. In 1886, he penned his most radical work, entitled Triumphant Democracy. The work was an attempt to argue his view that the American republican system of government was superior to the British monarchical system. He devoted his life to the work of providing the capital for purposes of public interest and was a powerful supporter of the movement for spelling reform as a means of promoting the spread of the English language. Later in his life, he gave away most of his riches to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools, and universities in Scotland, America and worldwide. His other works include An American Four-in-Hand in Britain (1883), Round the World (1884), The Empire of Business (1902), A Life of James Watt (1905) and Problems of To-day (1907).


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Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish- American businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company which later became U. S. Steel. He considered the U. S. as the role model for democratic government. In 1886, he penned his most radical work, entitled Triumphant Democracy. The work was an attempt to argue his view that the American repub Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish- American businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company which later became U. S. Steel. He considered the U. S. as the role model for democratic government. In 1886, he penned his most radical work, entitled Triumphant Democracy. The work was an attempt to argue his view that the American republican system of government was superior to the British monarchical system. He devoted his life to the work of providing the capital for purposes of public interest and was a powerful supporter of the movement for spelling reform as a means of promoting the spread of the English language. Later in his life, he gave away most of his riches to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools, and universities in Scotland, America and worldwide. His other works include An American Four-in-Hand in Britain (1883), Round the World (1884), The Empire of Business (1902), A Life of James Watt (1905) and Problems of To-day (1907).

30 review for The Gospel of Wealth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ipsa

    Andrew Carnegie, a multi-billionaire by today’s standards, wrote this alarmingly eloquent essay in 1889; and this is one of the most influential bits of philosophy I think I’ve ever read in my life! He was also, fun fact, the real life inspiration for Scrooge McDuck! Most of us have been hearing his ideas almost verbatim all our lives. The idea that the best way to help poor people is by giving them a job as a “ladder out of poverty”, that is Carnegie. The idea that socialists are just lazy and Andrew Carnegie, a multi-billionaire by today’s standards, wrote this alarmingly eloquent essay in 1889; and this is one of the most influential bits of philosophy I think I’ve ever read in my life! He was also, fun fact, the real life inspiration for Scrooge McDuck! Most of us have been hearing his ideas almost verbatim all our lives. The idea that the best way to help poor people is by giving them a job as a “ladder out of poverty”, that is Carnegie. The idea that socialists are just lazy and resent rich people for their success, that is Carnegie. The idea that wealth was created not by labor but by the intelligence and organization of people at the top, that’s Carnegie. The idea that “almsgiving” directly to the poor will hurt them even more, and make them more dependent, that is Carnegie. A lot of these ideas are a magnification of the ideas of the philosopher Herbert Spencer; but Carnegie updated them and more importantly, he made them seem like kindness because by most accounts, he gave away billions of dollars in today’s money and encouraged rich people to give their wealth away for public good rather than hoard it. But who gets to decide what the public good is? Well, Carnegie does, of course! He didn’t go to the public asking about what they need; because that would’ve put them in control. He described himself as an agent of the poor, but an agent is someone who works on your behalf and who you can recall if you want to. But that isn’t what he was describing; what he is describing is technocracy- a system of government in which the most competent people have control, but they are also the people who will decide what competent means. And therefore, like Oliver Thorne said, that is a dictatorship with a brunch. I don’t care if you call it Bezos Academy or Gates Foundation, I don’t want presents from rich people, I want control over my own life! Carnegie really believed, “Much better this great irregularity than universal squalor”. He did see the every-widening abyss between the rich and the poor, but that was alright with him because AT LEAST SOME OF US ARE BETTER THAN YOU SUCKERS NYAHAHA. There are remnants of Carnegie to be found in Ayn Rand’s “Virtue of Selfishness” as well...and that did not age well! The wealth doesn’t come from the people at the top; it comes from the people at the bottom; in spite of the clarity of the essay, it is incredibly short-sighted. So you can shove your “benevolent billionaire” and a “trustee for the poor” charade up your butt, you charming yet insidious Scottish Duck!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bailey

    Ok, so this isn't really a book and it's a bit unfair to count it as one, but I wanted to review it, so I've added it. I studied this work for a current paper I've written for my Public Library class on Andrew Carnegie's impact on public libraries in the U.S. While I think his philosophies are a bit short-sighted and I don't agree COMPLETELY with what he advocates, I think he approaches it from a good angle. Carnegie had a disdain for the wealthy people who gave to charity simply for the fact of Ok, so this isn't really a book and it's a bit unfair to count it as one, but I wanted to review it, so I've added it. I studied this work for a current paper I've written for my Public Library class on Andrew Carnegie's impact on public libraries in the U.S. While I think his philosophies are a bit short-sighted and I don't agree COMPLETELY with what he advocates, I think he approaches it from a good angle. Carnegie had a disdain for the wealthy people who gave to charity simply for the fact of giving, or what he termed "almsgiving." He argued that those who just dole out money without regard to where it's going or what it's used for are wasting their money. He believed the rich superior in practically all forms, especially in their capacity to know what the money should be used for. The poor, he felt, would use the money unwisely if not directed on how the funds should be used. Now, I'm not completely set on that point, but I do agree with what Carnegie did with his, and I agree that the philosophy is sound. Carnegie believed the best way to impact the world is in giving the money for the setting up of places and services for the people that belong to the people. In setting up public libraries, parks, recreation areas, and more, the poor had access to a wealth of information they wouldn't otherwise be able to enjoy. They were then free to take control of their own futures by educating themselves, cultivating intellect and moral fortitude, and thereby becoming successful human beings. This I agree with. No matter how arrogant the man seemed to be and no matter what a lousy boss he was, he certainly did a lot for America through his philanthropic endeavors. And he was successful at it. He had a great impact on Public libraries especially. Even today there are very few wealthy men who do the amount of good work that he managed to do, and for that he deserves a lot of credit. The Gospel of Wealth is fascinating to read, and I wish more wealthy people would take his viewpoint of living humbly and using their excessive wealth to do good things. Today it would be especially helpful!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Markus

    Haha guys don't develop class consciousness I'll be nice to you haha Haha guys don't develop class consciousness I'll be nice to you haha

  4. 4 out of 5

    Vilmantas

    Great historical figure shares his opinion on past and present, rich and poor, capitalism and communism, taxation and value of public goods. He makes an extra effort in explaining the importance of duties of wealthy individuals to society. Have to reread it in the future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ava

    Not sure if I actually read all of this but I want it to go towards my reading challenge

  6. 4 out of 5

    Giovanni

    The Gospel of Wealth essay is a very interesting read. We tend to have the image of amassing so much wealth you fill an entire swimming pool full of cash, but Carnegie doesn't only consider that a waste, but condemns it as evil. Carnegie states how wealth is best used by giving back to the community, not through charity, but administering you wealth accordingly to enrich society. Investing your money and creating industries, allocating your wealth to enrich the mind and experiences of your neigh The Gospel of Wealth essay is a very interesting read. We tend to have the image of amassing so much wealth you fill an entire swimming pool full of cash, but Carnegie doesn't only consider that a waste, but condemns it as evil. Carnegie states how wealth is best used by giving back to the community, not through charity, but administering you wealth accordingly to enrich society. Investing your money and creating industries, allocating your wealth to enrich the mind and experiences of your neighbors. As someone who donated what amounts to approximately $9 billion (in today's dollars) and was a titan of industry, Andrew Carnegie truly embodied this philosophy. And when you look around today, you see that the wealthiest nations are those in which money is circulating, one in which anyone in the society has the opportunity to create his/her "ideal life". Certainly, not all dreams will be realized, but the movement of capital through society by means of industry and entrepreneurship do a better job of enriching the masses than giving it away through charity, government coercion, or by a system where the wealth does not leave the position of the wealthy. I highly recommend this short read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    James (JD) Dittes

    This book is more about gospel than wealth. Carnegie's gospel is this: money is best spent by the billionaires, not the government or the worker. Over a series of four essays he lays out his case that most charitable contributions are wasted--as are the offspring of those who have worked to earn millions. Carnegie sees virtue in giving, and he highlights ways that his money has done good. This isn't a strident book. Carnegie's social darwinism is evident, but he doesn't press his case against work This book is more about gospel than wealth. Carnegie's gospel is this: money is best spent by the billionaires, not the government or the worker. Over a series of four essays he lays out his case that most charitable contributions are wasted--as are the offspring of those who have worked to earn millions. Carnegie sees virtue in giving, and he highlights ways that his money has done good. This isn't a strident book. Carnegie's social darwinism is evident, but he doesn't press his case against workers so much as against the fellow members of his class who aren't making a virtue out of their zillions of dollars. The final section is a series of anecdotes that seem like they could have come from business school homilies. I'm planning to use this book as the basis for a Common Core module on labor & capital. I'm planning to compare his writings with what was going on from the other side--namely with Carnegie's workers in Homestead, Pennsylvania, and with Theodore Roosevelt, the president who would ultimately bring the Gilded Age to an end.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandr Lazarev

    This book is more idealistic and philosophical than I expected, it speaks about natural selection of societies and accumulation of wealth. Author sprays hate on rich people and call them “unworthy”. He insists that Rich people should be taxed more and money should go to public interest. He also promotes progressive tax system. I can feel how author is jealous. As someone said: Jealousy is an attribute of the poor. This book smells like communist crap for those who are jealous. He writes that Rich p This book is more idealistic and philosophical than I expected, it speaks about natural selection of societies and accumulation of wealth. Author sprays hate on rich people and call them “unworthy”. He insists that Rich people should be taxed more and money should go to public interest. He also promotes progressive tax system. I can feel how author is jealous. As someone said: Jealousy is an attribute of the poor. This book smells like communist crap for those who are jealous. He writes that Rich people should be thrown in sea and it will be great for society, guy wants to kill best... Now it smells like red terror. Only thing I can agree is that people who want to raise should be helped and Rich should help them, but it must be act of Grace and not obligatory at all. This book is outdated, nowadays Rich people help society a lot. This book is useless indeed!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    A text that disrupts Marxists’ favorite image of the heartless capitalist, Mr. Moneybags. Carnegie opposes both wasteful self-indulgent spending and charity; he preaches the gospel of calculated and well-thought out philanthropy—help given to help others help themselves and succeed. He supports a rigorous progressive tax and large inheritance tax. He donated 90% of his wealth, I believe. The text raised two questions for me. What was the nature and extent of poverty and working-class labor (or i A text that disrupts Marxists’ favorite image of the heartless capitalist, Mr. Moneybags. Carnegie opposes both wasteful self-indulgent spending and charity; he preaches the gospel of calculated and well-thought out philanthropy—help given to help others help themselves and succeed. He supports a rigorous progressive tax and large inheritance tax. He donated 90% of his wealth, I believe. The text raised two questions for me. What was the nature and extent of poverty and working-class labor (or its historical analogue) in Europe and America before the industrial revolution? (Carnegie claims that despite large-scale poverty in the Industrial Age conditions are better than they ever have been in the world for most people). Secondly, to what extent is philanthropy a legitimate mechanism for atoning for the ills of capitalist production from both a Marxist and social democratic perspective? Is it simply a momentary remedy that fails to get at the deep source (capitalist mode of production) of inequality?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Isabella

    I gave it a two for organizational purposes; I'm neutral upon the work as a source material. I find the work very interesting to read from a historical perspective. Many of the reviewers struggled to tear away from their modern view while reading it. I think Carnegie was short-sighted but very well-intended. I believe he is right regarding his estimations of communism. I believe he was wrong regarding his views for a hands-off economy; I wonder if he found this out himself later in life with mor I gave it a two for organizational purposes; I'm neutral upon the work as a source material. I find the work very interesting to read from a historical perspective. Many of the reviewers struggled to tear away from their modern view while reading it. I think Carnegie was short-sighted but very well-intended. I believe he is right regarding his estimations of communism. I believe he was wrong regarding his views for a hands-off economy; I wonder if he found this out himself later in life with more experience and knowledge. I also believe this article was more for the fellow wealthy, trying to persuade more of them to pursue charity and live inconspicuously. It was very brief. And say what you will, he did do what he preached.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Khanya Cakata

    This is the famous article by Carnegie which is credited as the first modern attempt to setting out philanthropic principles. At 30 pages, it is not really a book, but a pamphlet. Its importance (or relevance) is not to be underestimated, however. His main contentions are: - Dying wealthy is a disgrace. - You should give most of your wealth away while you are alive. - Giving to the destitute, in the form of soup kitchens and the like, is not as effective as (say) building libraries, universities This is the famous article by Carnegie which is credited as the first modern attempt to setting out philanthropic principles. At 30 pages, it is not really a book, but a pamphlet. Its importance (or relevance) is not to be underestimated, however. His main contentions are: - Dying wealthy is a disgrace. - You should give most of your wealth away while you are alive. - Giving to the destitute, in the form of soup kitchens and the like, is not as effective as (say) building libraries, universities and hospitals. I will probably write a much more critical review of this famous text in the years to come. I will say this, it is worth a read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    AttackGirl

    Well if you need a book to tell you the best way to manipulate people using the positive emotional twist, how to make your personal and work life a happier place this book is for you. Well written in the personal example format with outcome. Sappy and all stories support the positive outcome with a few examples of people not so easily swayed to the velvet tongue. I started in July then set it aside and picked it up last night and finished this am. Applied globally would make the world a better pla Well if you need a book to tell you the best way to manipulate people using the positive emotional twist, how to make your personal and work life a happier place this book is for you. Well written in the personal example format with outcome. Sappy and all stories support the positive outcome with a few examples of people not so easily swayed to the velvet tongue. I started in July then set it aside and picked it up last night and finished this am. Applied globally would make the world a better place. Enjoy

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kirtida Gautam

    "One of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is the indiscriminate charity." "I would as soon leave to my son a curse as the almighty dollar." "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." I am strongly against the idea of inherited property. It corrupts the whole system of reward and punishment in the domain of human actions, in their lifetime. For that reason, the book resonated with me. Though I am strongly against some of the capitalist euphoria expressed in the book. "One of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is the indiscriminate charity." "I would as soon leave to my son a curse as the almighty dollar." "The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." I am strongly against the idea of inherited property. It corrupts the whole system of reward and punishment in the domain of human actions, in their lifetime. For that reason, the book resonated with me. Though I am strongly against some of the capitalist euphoria expressed in the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    bimri

    Bill Gates must have been a reader of this treasure trove on how to disseminate fortunes to the public; before he founded the Bill and Melinda Foundation. Among other millionaires and billionaires who've sworn to the giving pledge. It was natural for me to have gravitated to this title; it has shared thoughts that I have held long for the future of my endeavors. The only difference, I have read it before and not after: - unlike Bill. That's my hypothesis. Bill Gates must have been a reader of this treasure trove on how to disseminate fortunes to the public; before he founded the Bill and Melinda Foundation. Among other millionaires and billionaires who've sworn to the giving pledge. It was natural for me to have gravitated to this title; it has shared thoughts that I have held long for the future of my endeavors. The only difference, I have read it before and not after: - unlike Bill. That's my hypothesis.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Imene MELLAL

    "There are instances of millionaires' sons unspoiled by wealth, who, being rich, still perform great services in the community. Such are the very salt of the earth, as valuable as, unfortunately, they are rare." “This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance.” “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” "There are instances of millionaires' sons unspoiled by wealth, who, being rich, still perform great services in the community. Such are the very salt of the earth, as valuable as, unfortunately, they are rare." “This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance.” “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.”

  16. 5 out of 5

    Madhur Bhargava

    This is more of an essay with a misleading title and less of a book. Mislead by its title, I picked it up thinking that this will provide an insight into the thought process of Andrew Carnegie which made him one of the richest capitalist of his times, however, the essay talks about strategies of redistributing wealth once the rich have procured it. Disappointed!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nitin Prasad

    A lot of the ideas appear quite elitist from a modern lens, but we need to take into account the context of when it was written and for whom. Carnegie's support of a wealth tax to spur charitable giving amongst the mega-rich is a useful voice even today, while his ideas on exactly what to spend charity on feel a bit dated. A lot of the ideas appear quite elitist from a modern lens, but we need to take into account the context of when it was written and for whom. Carnegie's support of a wealth tax to spur charitable giving amongst the mega-rich is a useful voice even today, while his ideas on exactly what to spend charity on feel a bit dated.

  18. 5 out of 5

    SWAROOP CHOUGULE

    The Gospel of Wealth was originally an article written by Andrew Carnegie describing the responsibility of philanthropy by the upper class of self-made rich. The great man's words: "This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, The Gospel of Wealth was originally an article written by Andrew Carnegie describing the responsibility of philanthropy by the upper class of self-made rich. The great man's words: "This, then, is held to be the duty of the man of Wealth: First, to set an example of modest, unostentatious living, shunning display or extravagance; to provide moderately for the legitimate wants of those dependent upon him; and after doing so to consider all surplus revenues which come to him simply as trust funds, which he is called upon to administer, and strictly bound as a matter of duty to administer in the manner which, in his judgment, is best calculated to produce the most beneficial results for the community—the man of wealth thus becoming the mere agent and trustee for his poorer brethren, bringing to their service his superior wisdom, experience and ability to administer, doing for them better than they would or could do for themselves."

  19. 4 out of 5

    Samuel

    Short and sweet book at add to this year's lot. Reading about the devotion to giving back by this great man was enjoyable. His thoughts about how the wealthy should distribute their earning prior to the end of their lives I found a relaxing read. I look forward to reading his autobiography. Short and sweet book at add to this year's lot. Reading about the devotion to giving back by this great man was enjoyable. His thoughts about how the wealthy should distribute their earning prior to the end of their lives I found a relaxing read. I look forward to reading his autobiography.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Dong

    fast read but only presents an idea. proposes a solution to the almost-inevitable growing chasm between rich and poor via active philanthropy: earning money comes with the responsibility of spending it wisely.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deepankur Sadana

    It's an article, not a book. Carnegie compares three modes of injecting wealth by capitalists as he approaches the end. Passing on to descendants, donating to charity / underprivileged, and carrying out development themselves. He argues that the last option is only worth doing. It's an article, not a book. Carnegie compares three modes of injecting wealth by capitalists as he approaches the end. Passing on to descendants, donating to charity / underprivileged, and carrying out development themselves. He argues that the last option is only worth doing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    SueMac

    Excellent historical context for anyone looking at eco mic and social justice issues today. Although often heralded as one of the great philanthropists, Carnegie was classist and arrogant. The embrace of his words by the wealthy are instructive of how a plutocracy was created.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rob Pucci

    Excellent read, whether you agree with all of its ideas or not. More folks should read this book, and then see if their world view changes.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Walker

    A thoughtful book that everyone should read, but few will understand the message.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Harlen

    Worth a read. But it isn't very engaging. Worth a read. But it isn't very engaging.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Luis Bedolla

    A century has passed since Carnegie wrote this, and his contribution still fits in the modern times.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ayibatari Ogounga

    This is cool, "The man who dies rich dies disgraced" . Carnegie shows in this paper that giving in such a way as to benefit the whole race is the way to go in philanthropy. This is cool, "The man who dies rich dies disgraced" . Carnegie shows in this paper that giving in such a way as to benefit the whole race is the way to go in philanthropy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lydie Reyes

    Socialist.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cole

    If I ever get wealthy, this book is a blueprint of what I think is the correct way to help with money. Basic lesson - give a man a fish or teach him to fish.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Solorzano

    Some good wisdom. Two & a half stars. Worth reading at the library even though it has a lot of outdated ideals.

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