The Insider Book Club
The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie and The Gospel of Wealth
by Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie was born in 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. He was the son of a weaver. At the age of twelve, his family emigrated to America where Carnegie landed a few jobs, built his way up the corporate ladder and ended up owning a steel factory. Are you getting excited yet? I thought so!
So, why should a factory owner whom most people haven't even heard of matter to you?
Well, for one thing, Carnegie's story is arguably one of the most dramatic rags to riches stories in recorded history. I have personally visited his tiny birthplace home. It's near Glasgow, where I live, and I can tell you that the conditions that he was born into were extremely crammed and downtrodden. He had very little formal education. His father was originally a weaver, which at one time would have been a fairly skilled and respectable profession. However, as the industrial age kicked into full swing, his father's humble trade quickly became obsolete and this drove the Carnegie family into a state of desperate poverty.
The Carnegie family resented the way that their country – The United Kingdom – was controlled by a privileged elite ruling class (a situation which is still happening today, by the way!). The Carnegie's believed that all people should be given an equal and fair opportunity to be successful in life. The British Royal Family – for the Carnegie family - represented everything that was unfair and antiquated about the United Kingdom.
Extreme poverty along with a desire to live in a more fair society eventually drove Andrew Carnegie's mother to borrow twenty pounds from a neighbour. Thereafter, the family took a five week boat trip to America, in search of a better life. When they arrived in America, the family had no business contacts and no guaranteed source of income at all. However, a friend put them up and by the age of 13 Andrew Carnegie landed his first job. He was a bobbin boy - tasked with changing spools in a cotton factory, twelve hours per day, six days per week.
Carnegie's time in the cotton factory did not last for ever. After two years he landed a job as a telegraph messenger boy. His new job involved delivering important documents to wealthy businessmen around the Pittsburgh area. Carnegie saw this as an opportunity. He memorised the names and faces of all of the wealthy people in his area and made friends with as many of them as he could. Thereafter, a seemingly miraculous series of opportunities, people and situations drifted into Carnegie's life which led to Carnegie becoming wealthy. Extremely wealthy.
Andrew Carnegie eventually founded Carnegie Steel, which at its peak produced more steel than the entire United Kingdom. Carnegie's wealth, power and influence grew exponentially to the point where his friends included US and European presidents, along with leading figures from the business world. In 1901 Carnegie sold his steel empire to JP Morgan for four hundred and eighty million dollars. This historic deal made Andrew Carnegie the richest man in the world.
I've just practically given you Andrew Carnegie's entire life story! So, now you're even less incentivised to read his story, right?
Well, the actual timeline of events is only one part of the story. There are some who believe that Andrew Carnegie had mastered the Law of Attraction and had used this to power to create massive wealth, literally propelling him from poverty to becoming the richest man on Earth. After his retirement, Carnegie taught his secrets of success to a journalist called Napoleon Hill, who then went on to write the best selling self help book of all time - Think and Grow Rich.
Within the pages of Andrew Carnegie's autobiography, you'll find lots of little hidden clues and golden nuggets which can help you to activate the Law of Attraction and create your own success story. Most readers won't even be aware of these golden nuggets. Some of them appear to be completely trivial and irrelevant. For example, we have the revelation from Andrew Carnegie that he has always had a love of classical music, even at a young age. Sounds trivial right? It's not. For one thing, the very idea of a poverty stricken son of a working class weaver from Scotland being a lover of classical music is odd. It's certainly not normal. That should ring alarm bells! Of course, many years later, there's now a huge body of research to suggest that classical music (particularly Baroque classical music) improves concentration levels and puts the brain into an optimum state for peak performance.
Andrew Carnegie was not a saint. Let it be known that I'm not holding him up as a perfect example of a human being. As a matter of fact, the way that Carnegie treated his employees and some of the people close to his inner circle was unethical. Nevertheless, I think that it's worth knowing about Andrew Carnegie because he is one of the people who shaped the commercial global marketplace and also because he is the grandfather of the entire self help industry.
There is interesting rumour about Andrew Carnegie. After his death, they found a note in his desk. You can find out what the note said here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AIbWbwOscg
In any event, I hope you find Andrew Carnegie's story to be interesting. He is certainly a key historical character for those who are interested in manifesting massive levels of success.