FATHER AND SONS
The workers can be emancipated only by their own collective will ... and this collective will and conquering power can only be the result of education, enlightenment and self-imposed discipline.
—Eugene V Debs, "Sound Socialist Tactics," 1912
Late in 1903 the city fathers of Wheeling, West Virginia, asked Andrew Carnegie to build their city a library. The steelmaker turned philanthropist had already funded several hundred all across industrial America, and it seemed certain that their application would meet with success. Wheeling was the largest and most industrialized city in West Virginia, with a diversified manufacturing base that included firms in the iron and steel, pottery, wood, brass, glass, cigarmaking, brewing, and meatpacking industries. This growing community of forty thousand seemed just the sort of deserving place for Carnegie's benevolence. In return, all that Carnegie required was a city commitment, in the form of a $50,000 bond levy, to buy the land and books and staff the building.
The library had all the right supporters: the mayor, the city council, the board of education, the daily newspapers, as well as all the leading businessmen. These were the "go-ahead citizens of this community," asserted Wheeling's Daily Intelligencer. 1 And there was Andrew Carnegie himself, who had built his philanthropy on a combination of sincere Christian charity, pious self-justification, and procapitalist propaganda that made him as controversial a figure in retirement as he had been as a captain of industry. The Daily Intelligencer captured some of these shadings when it editorialized, "Mr. Carnegie is so situated that any affront to him at