The World's Richest Man
Confirming my wire upon the situation let me say that all is coming just as expected. There is nothing surprising; a struggle is inevitable, and it is a question of the survival of the fittest.” 1 It was not melodramatic rhetoric; entering the summer of 1900 the market for steel was flat, competition was intense, and Carnegie was putting Schwab on notice. When Carnegie, Louise, and Margaret boarded the American liner St. Louis on May 2, bound for Britain, he had no doubt the battles with the Morgan and Moore consolidations would intensify. He was scheduled to speak at the Iron and Steel Institute's meeting at the Hotel Cecil in London on May 9, and he would meet with Morley and Spencer—all three together for the first time in years— but Carnegie planned no other engagements. There would be no time for excessive socializing this summer, no six months of bliss in his heaven on earth.
Although Carnegie had lost his fight with Frick, it was the catalyst for a rebirth of Carnegie as a leader. Now that Frick was gone, there was no hesitation, no waffling, and no ambivalence on Carnegie's part as he now focused on Morgan and Moore. His inability to share power was a fault, perhaps, but he was a much stronger and decisive leader when recognized as the undisputed force in his company. He was almost sixty-five, an age when most men would be retiring, yet Carnegie was thrusting himself back into the heat of battle to fill the breach caused by Frick's expulsion.
“A nation should never make war except to repel invaders, ” Carnegie once said. As he surveyed his empire, he identified several forces intent on raiding his territory and pillaging his profits. In addition to reenergizing the counterattack on the Morgan and Moore consolidations, which were buying less and less steel from the Carnegie Company, he quickly surmised he had to contend with John D. Rockefeller, who had iron-fisted control of shipping on the Great Lakes and was threatening price increases; and he had to again confront the Pennsylvania Railroad, which had a new president who was
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Publication information: Book title: Carnegie. Contributors: Peter Krass - Author. Publisher: Wiley. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 396.
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