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Andrew Carnegie (Anglais) Relié – décembre 1989


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EUR 51,57 EUR 17,67
Relié, décembre 1989
EUR 617,70 EUR 155,22
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EUR 55,15

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Amazon.com: 12 commentaires
47 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Outstanding story of one of history's greatest business men 8 octobre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is an outstanding account of the life of Andrew Carnegie, one of the greatest philanthropists and capitalists ever. The book is long but brilliantly written and an enthralling read. Wall has painstakingly researched Carnegie and added considerably to knowledge of the man. His central thesis is that Carnegie's life was a continuing attempt to reconcile his radical Scottish childhood with "the paramountcy he achieved within the American plutocracy as an adult". Wall's approach is generally sympathetic but he is not afraid to be critical when needed, especially over the Homestead strike. The whole of Carnegie's life is in this book, and each part of his life story is properly placed in its historical context. I learned an enourmous amount about the politics and economics of USA and Britain in the late 19th and early twentieth century, but most of all I learned about Carnegie, a man who got as rich as Bill Gates in his day and gave it all away. When you consider that he sold his interest in Carnegie Steel for over $250m in 1901 and start to think about inflation since then you will see what I mean. Read this book and find out how he did it. It is hard to believe that one man could achieve so much in one lifetime. I am not an academic and only have a lay interest in history but would recommend this to anyone. Haven't you ever wondered about Carnegie Hall, Carnegie Libraries or Carnegie Trusts? I now want to visit Pittsburgh and Skibo to see where it all happened.
27 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A brilliant look at a man and his times 8 janvier 2002
Par T. Graczewski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Joseph Frazier Wall's one-volume biography "Andrew Carnegie" is a "must read" for anyone interested in early American industrial development. However, just as Carnegie's life was much more than simply the story of steel production, so too is this biography. It is a fascinating look at the half-century of American history between the Civil War and World War I.
Andrew Carnegie was one of the most intriguing characters of late nineteenth century America. Born into a politically active although socio-economically humble family in Scotland, Carnegie possessed a passion for advancement and material wealth that propelled him to the forefront of the industrial world. Rising from Pittsburgh telegraph message boy to protege of Pennsylvania Railroad executive Tom Scott to capitalist investor and finally steel magnate in a decade-and-a-half, Carnegie was the very embodiment of the Horatio Alger hero popularized at that time.
Although he shared the same business philosophy of using retained earnings for growth rather than dividends as John D. Rockefeller and other titans and he exhibited a personal drive and sense of destiny common to other leading trust-builders, Carnegie was in one particular way very different from his peers. He was a deeply cerebral man, very well-read and able to compose thoughtful essays on some of the most pressing and challenging political and economic issues of his time. His written defense of the gold standard was used by Mark Hanna to promote McKinley's stance against the bi-metallism of William Jennings Bryan in the crucial 1896 election; his thoughts on central banking influenced Wilson's policies in creating the Federal Reserve System; and Carnegie was one of the very first argue for a permanent League of Nations to work for arbitration of international disputes. His close personal friends were British liberals, renowned philosophers such as Herbert Spencer and other members of the intellectual elite on both sides of the Atlantic, not fellow industrialists or business associates like Henry Clay Frick or Henry Phipps who cared little for politics and even less for the recondite subjects that intrigued Carnegie.
Wall weaves these diverse cords of Carnegie's life into a masterful biography that succeeds as much as a social, political and business history of his time as it does in critically examining the complex character, beliefs, and relationships of an extraordinary man. Wall is certainly sympathetic to Carnegie and his achievements, but overall "Andrew Carnegie" is extremely objective and the author doesn't hesitate to highlight his subject's personal foibles, convenient lapses of memory, and vanity.
At over one thousand pages in length the paperback is physically imposing and can at times bog down in detail, but Wall's lucid writing style and often sardonic wit make it a fast and enjoyable read.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Read!!! 8 décembre 2002
Par PrinceVultan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is finest, most comprehensive, and exciting biography ever written about Carnegie. No Carnegie biography, before or since, has ever approached the excellence of Wall's masterpiece.
In fact, this might even be one of the greatest books ever written. Despite the fact that it runs to more than 1100 pages, Wall manages to tell the story and not waste a single word. This is not just a biography of Carnegie. It is also a window into another world. We see the Industrial Revolution up close and we meet the characters who actually shaped and maintained Carnegie's empire, including Henry Clay Frick, Captain William Jones, and Charles Schwab. Carnegie's relationships with contemporaries such as Herbert Spencer, J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon, and at least seven US Presidents are explored as well. The reader will be fascinated with the story, which reads like a work of fiction. Carnegie's rise conincides with the rise of the US as a world power. His success mirrored the nation's and he contributed in no small way to the propserity of the republic in which he thrived. A must read for any Carnegie student and a strongly recommended read for the novice as well.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
World's richest man 21 novembre 2005
Par Bomojaz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Andrew Carnegie was born in Scotland in 1835 and came to America at age 13. He started working with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and then got in on the ground floor of the steel business. Unlike Rockefeller, his great rival in the race to become the world's richest man, who was motivated by a pious Baptist fervor, Carnegie was a Scottish agnostic Darwinist. (He was three times richer than Rockefeller, by the way.) A frequent contributor to popular magazines of the day, mainly on economic and social issues, he was a follower of Herbert Spencer.

Practical and somewhat crude in manners, the bottom line is what drove him in business. He retired in 1900 and devoted himself to philanthropy (he published a book that year - THE GOSPEL OF WEALTH - in which he proclaimed it was the duty of those who had become extremely wealthy to help those who were less fortunate). Among other things, he began donating library buildings (always just the buildings, never any books) to communities around the country. They were a huge success. Late in his life he became obsessed with world peace and pacificism, less successfully. Although the book is overwritten at 1,200+ pages, Wall writes well and commands our interest. Highly recommended.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A monumental work - though rather dry at times 19 août 2007
Par Andrew Barrett - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
2nd Edition (1989), University of Pittsburgh Press, 1,117 pages (of which 1,047 for main body)

Andrew Carnegie is another of the twenty books that Charlie Munger recommends at the back of the second edition of Poor Charlie's Almanack. If you've read any of my other reviews this will not surprise you, as I am working my way through his list. After all, if a man like Munger - whose thinking prowess is revered by a man of Buffett's abilities - takes the trouble to recommend only twenty books out of all those he has read over a long life time, surely one should actually read them?

You can see from the page count that even reading this book (described by the author as a 'massive tome') is a significant undertaking (let alone the 'many long years' that Wall spent on it). I am left with somewhat mixed feelings after finishing the book: admiration for the vast amount of research that went into it, but also a certain amount of disappointment that some part of Carnegie's character seemed to be missing.

When I reviewed 'Titan', the biography of Carnegie's contemporary, Rockefeller, by Ron Chernow (also on Munger's recommended list) earlier in the year I awarded the book a maximum five stars and said that it was as entertaining as a novel. I also said that I'd not read many biographies and so was somewhat hesitant in my opinion. Andrew Carnegie was thus a particularly useful book to read, as it covers a similarly successful businessman over roughly the same period and location.

I felt that Titan gave a fuller view of Rockefeller, the man, and the things that drove him. I've spent some time considering why Wall's biography of Carnegie seems somewhat two-dimensional in comparison. I've concluded that it probably has something to do with the way that Wall would say, for example, that Carnegie wrote a speech or worked on his autobiography but he doesn't give much indication of how Carnegie would actually spend his day.

Did he work all day on some days, or only at certain times of the day? How did he fit in work (whether business or, later, philanthropy) with the many visitors at Skibo in Scotland? Did he vary his work habits during the year as he moved between Scotland and the US? Did he plan his writing (he was a prolific author of speeches, articles and books) and did he find writing easy as well as enjoyable? I found the absence of these mundane details made it harder to identify with Carnegie.

That said, there were some very interesting and even exciting passages in the book. There is a marvellous story about how Carnegie's manager and business partner, Henry Clay Frick, was shot twice with a small pistol in the neck at short range and stabbed three times in the hip and legs by a would-be assassin. Frick sat in a chair without anaesthetic, directing the doctor as he extracted the bullets. He then insisted upon returning to his desk to cable his mother and Carnegie and to finish some urgent paperwork. It was at the time of the infamous strike at the Homestead plant and before Frick would allow himself to be taken home by ambulance he prepared this statement:

"This incident will not change the attitude of the Carnegie Steel Company toward the Amalgamated Association. I do not think I shall die, but whether I do or not, the Company will pursue the same policy and it will win."

Eventually Frick and Carnegie ended up in open warfare over the control of Carnegie Steel. Wall quotes sections of the board minutes as the fight begins and one feels almost like a direct spectator. Now you know something of Frick's character, you'll be unsurprised that I thought this was the most exciting part of the book.

Rather like Rockefeller, Carnegie retired from business and devoted himself to philanthropy. Also like Rockefeller, Carnegie found giving his money away more difficult and burdensome than actually making it (in fact it nearly gave Rockefeller a breakdown). I think the key here is that it is easy to give money away, but if you are determined to do it effectively (and it was anathema to men like Rockefeller and Carnegie to do it any other way) then it is extremely hard. Particularly when vast quantities of money are involved.

However, Wall's book contains a superb example of the superpower of incentives (and also of an extremely strong positive unintended consequence). Carnegie created an endowment to provide free pensions for university professors because he was concerned that their very low wages (senior professors earned salaries comparable to clerks working for Carnegie Steel) and lack of pensions were causing two major problems:

1. A lack of talented people becoming teachers.
2. Professors staying on long after they should have retired because it was the only way colleges could pay them a pension (again preventing entry of young people).

It had a huge effect because the trustees evaluated all of the colleges in the US and only approved around 50 of over 400 that applied (most were rejected because of low academic entry standards or because of sectarian requirements). The effect of the good teachers wanting to move to colleges where they could access a free pension was so strong that it forced a significant improvement of entry standards across the country, which in turn drove a significant improvement in standards in schools across the country that fed the colleges. It also forced many sectarian/religious colleges to become non-sectarian.

Munger has said that perhaps the most important job in management is to get the incentives right. The marvellous example above shows that, with the right incentives, apparently intractable problems can sometimes simply resolve themselves (just as with FedEx's initial delivery problems).

Overall, Andrew Carnegie is a fine and worthy book, but one that takes some reading.
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