Written by Andrew Carnegie.
Andrew Carnegie writes about his life growing up and later moving to America with his family. He describes his life through to the end of his business career and into his old age as a philanthropist.
At his time, Carnegie was one of the richest people in the world. You can choose to buy this book, from a book seller pitching it as a business book. There are even books out there, distilling business advice from the autobiography and claiming that this advice is what will guarantee your success. Let me make it clear - Carnegie was in all the right businesses at the right times, he stumble upon the right people and he had the talent and intelligence to make the most of his opportunities.
Andrew Carnegie was in the railroad business when railroad was still expanding in the young United States of America. He moved into iron mills and later steel, when the industrial evolution was screaming for building material, and he later moved into banking when the communication lines and transportation links afforded him a global network of business partners. His timing was impeccable.
The first half part of the book describes his business career, the last part describes his philanthropy and gives tributes to the powerful men he has known and those that are still in his life at the time of his writing. I can only recommend the first part of the book, if you are looking for business and life advice.
Andrew Carnegie grows up as a working class boy, and starts his career early. His loyalty and patience awards him with great business connections. His frugal living and professional discipline ensures that he can execute on the opportunities that later arise in his career.
The key traits to his success was
- Frugal living
To fully appreciate the traits, you have to read the first part of the autobiography. When the story is delivered by the ghost of Carnegie, you see the traits presented in the context that they are intended.
I can fully recommend this book, but do yourself a favor and read quickly through the first 20%, focus intensely on the next 50%, and avoid the last 30%.