Andrew Carnegie: The Destruction Of The American Dream

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Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men to ever live because of aggressive investment, constantly connecting with influential people, and a complete focus on accumulation of both wealth and knowledge. The American dream became more than a dream for Andrew Carnegie. He emigrated from Scotland in 1848, when he was 12 years old (Andrew Carnegie) with nothing to his name. His family was forced to leave their homes because Carnegie’s father’s business had failed. While he may have seen his father as a failure, he himself “Carnegie was gregarious, effervescent and a social mingler who loved to entertain.” (Fraser). Once in the land of opportunities he wasted no time in making a name, and a fortune, for himself. Carnegie’s search for a job ended…show more content…
The fact that he dropped out of school at the age of 12 to being work did not mean that he didn’t have a desire to know as much as he could about anything he could imagine. In his work “he brought intelligence and imagination and the sort of relentless vigor that allowed him to get a lot done” and because at times his own knowledge was limited he also funded scientific research (Frost). After retiring (at a very young age) Carnegie’s self proclaimed calling was to dedicate his time and money towards the continued education of himself and the public. This almost obsession with the accumulation of knowledge, combined with his need to seem more likeable in the public eye, led to him founding numerous public libraries to encourage the spread of knowledge to everyone (Henle). Some say that Andrew Carnegie was not the hero that he pretended to be. The immense fortune he had amassed was created not altogether honestly. The essay written by Carnegie himself titled The Gospel of Wealth argues that rich men are “‘trustees’ of their wealth” but have the responsibility to use money for the benefit of the public (Andrew Carnegie). This belief is evident in some of Carnegie’s more public acts; large donations towards schools were meant to show the tycoon in a more pleasant light. Ernsberger

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