Born the son of an impoverished Scottish linen weaver, Andrew Carnegie pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to founder of Carnegie Steel, and one of the richest men in the world. He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace. For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public a wildly successful business and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism Carnegie has remained an enigma.
In his new biography, David Nasaw, with a trove of new material, explains how Carnegie made his early fortune and what prompted him to give it all away, how he was drawn into the campaign first against American involvement in the Spanish-American War and then for international peace, and how he used his friendships with presidents and prime ministers to try to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation, and former President of the NYPL, discusses Andrew Carnegie's complex legacy with David Nasaw, author of Andrew Carnegie, the story of one of America's greatest businessmen, and the philanthropist who gave it all away.
This event is co-presented by the Center for the Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center.
About David Nasaw
David Nasaw is the author of the The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst, winner of the Bancroft Prize for History, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Ambassador Book Prize for Biography, and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His new book is Andrew Carnegie. He is currently a distinguished professor of history and Director of the Center for the Humanities at the City University of New York Graduate Center.
About Vartan Gregorian
Vartan Gregorian is president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a grant-making institution founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911. He has also served as president of Brown University and The New York Public Library. Gregorian has taught at San Francisco State College, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Texas at Austin. He was provost at the University of Pennsylvania. Gregorian is author of The Road To Home: My Life And Times, Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith, and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946. In 2004, President Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation?s highest civil award.