By Peter Krass
One of the major figures in American history, Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless businessman who made his fortune in the steel industry and ultimately gave most of it away. He used his wealth to ascend the world's political stage, influencing the presidencies of Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt. In retirement, Carnegie became an avid promoter of world peace, only to be crushed emotionally by World War I. In this compelling biography, Peter Krass reconstructs the complicated life of this titan who came to power in America's Gilded Age. He transports the reader to Carnegie's Pittsburgh, where hundreds of smoking furnaces belched smoke into the sky and the air was filled with acrid fumes . . . and mill workers worked seven-day weeks while Carnegie spent months traveling across Europe. Carnegie explores the contradictions in the life of the man who rose from lowly bobbin boy to build the largest and most profitable steel company in the world. Krass examines how Carnegie became one of the greatest philanthropists ever known-and earned a notorious reputation that history has yet to fully reconcile with his remarkable accomplishments.