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Majestically told and based on materials not available to any previous biographer, the definitive life of Andrew Carnegie--one of American business's most iconic and elusive titans--by the bestselling author of "The Chief: The Life of William Randolph Hearst." Celebrated historian David Nasaw, whom The New York Times Book Review has called "a meticulous researcher and a cool analyst," brings new life to the story of one of America's most famous and successful businessmen and philanthropists in what will prove to be the biography of the season. Born of modest origins in Scotland in 1835, Andrew Carnegie is best known as the founder of Carnegie Steel. His rags to riches story has never been told as dramatically and vividly as in Nasaw's new biography. Carnegie, the son of an impoverished linen weaver, moved to Pittsburgh at the age of thirteen. The embodiment of the American dream, he pulled himself up from bobbin boy in a cotton factory to become the richest man in the world. He spent the rest of his life giving away the fortune he had accumulated and crusading for international peace. For all that he accomplished and came to represent to the American public -- a wildly successful businessman and capitalist, a self-educated writer, peace activist, philanthropist, man of letters, lover of culture, and unabashed enthusiast for American democracy and capitalism -- Carnegie has remained, to this day, an enigma. Nasaw explains how Carnegie made his early fortune and what prompted him to give it all away, how he was drawn into the campaign first against American involvement in the Spanish-American War and then for international peace, and how he used his friendships with presidents and prime ministers to try to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. With a trove of new material-unpublished chapters of Carnegie's Autobiography; personal letters between Carnegie and his future wife, Louise, and other family members; his prenuptial agreement; diaries of family and close friends; his applications for citizenship; his extensive correspondence with Henry Clay Frick; and dozens of private letters to and from presidents Grant, Cleveland, McKinley, Roosevelt, and British prime ministers Gladstone and Balfour, as well as friends Herbert Spencer, Matthew Arnold, and Mark Twain - Nasaw brilliantly plumbs the core of this fascinating and complex man, deftly placing his life in cultural and political context as only a master storyteller can.
A surprising and indelible portrait of the bitter hardships, amazing resourcefulness and unadulterated joys experienced by immigrant children in American metropolises at the turn of the century. The turn of the twentieth century was a time of explosive growth for American cities, a time of nascent hopes and apparently limitless possibilities. In Children of the City, David Nasaw re-creates this period in our social history from the vantage point of the children who grew up then. Drawing on hundreds of memoirs, autobiographies, oral histories and unpublished--and until now unexamined--primary source materials from cities across the country, he provides us with a warm and eloquent portrait of these children, their families, their daily lives, their fears, and their dreams. The true story of the Newsies who successfully organized and struck the newspaper empires of Hearst and Pulitzer.
David Nasaw has written a sparkling social history of twentieth-century show business and of the new American public that assembled in the city's pleasure palaces, parks, theaters, nickelodeons, world's fair midways, and dance halls. The new amusement centers welcomed women, men, and children, native-born and immigrant, rich, poor and middling. Only African Americans were excluded or segregated in the audience, though they were overrepresented in parodic form on stage. This stigmatization of the African American, Nasaw argues, was the glue that cemented an otherwise disparate audience, muting social distinctions among "whites," and creating a common national culture.
David Nasaw tells the full story of Joseph P. Kennedy, the founder of the twentieth century's most famous political dynasty. Nasaw draws on never-before-published materials from archives on three continents and interviews with Kennedy family members and friends to tell the life story of a man who participated in the major events of his times: the booms and busts, the Depression and the New Deal, two world wars and a cold war, and the birth of the New Frontier.
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