A Manual of the Public Benefactions of Andrew Carnegie

By Carnegie Endowment for International Peace | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

Andrew Carnegie died at his summer home in Lenox, August 11, 1919, in his eighty-fourth year. He was regarded by the world as one of the most remarkable men of his age -- and in certain ways he was unique among men of all ages. He was equally great as a man of practical affairs and as an idealist. The present publication reveals both of these qualities operating through great institutions which he founded and endowed for the good of his fellow men. In the thought that he had worked for the realization of certain ideals he discovered the secret of a serene and happy spirit, a characteristic which marked his life, especially after his retirement from business and up to the day of his death. The present volume, already compiled and on the eve of publication at the moment of his death, outlines the beneficent aims of the great foundations he established -- their methods and something of their services to mankind. It is therefore the most practical memorial of Andrew Carnegie that can be compiled. It brings together in one volume for the first time the series of remarkable letters which Mr. Carnegie wrote in establishing his public benefactions, each letter revealing some distinct phase of his idealism.

The Manual will also serve a very useful purpose. The general public has but a vague conception of the vast extent of these benefactions and of the noble purposes to which they are dedicated. Some definite idea may be obtained from this volume of the steadily increasing benefits they are destined to confer upon science, education and mankind. The plans of the founder and of the administrators of these great institutions will, as the years roll on, be of cumulative significance.

Mr. Carnegie accumulated large wealth by his remarkable business ability, his tireless industry and his clear prevision of the enormous development of the country of his adoption. His own conception of his duty and his responsibility was that his fortune belonged to the world in which he was permitted to live and under whose laws he was enabled to acquire it. The "Gospel of Wealth" by which he was governed is set forth tersely in the

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