The Gospel of Wealth

The Gospel of Wealth

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Newly edited and annotated
1889 | Essay


The Scottish-born industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) was one of the titans of America’s Gilded Age. He was also a prolific author, writing hundreds of speeches, articles, pamphlets, and letters to the editor, as well as seven books, including an Autobiography (published posthumously in 1920). Proud of his pen, Carnegie is today perhaps most celebrated as the author of a pair of articles first published in the North American Review in 1889, which together have come to be known as The Gospel of Wealth. Here, Carnegie boldly articulated his view of the rich as mere trustees of their wealth who should live unostentatiously, provide moderately for their families, and use their fortunes to promote the “general good.” He goes on to suggest some “best uses” to which the millionaire can devote his wealth (universities, libraries, medical institutions, public parks, and more). The Gospel of Wealth caused quite a stir on both sides of the Atlantic, not least for its now famous declaration that “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.”
 

Citation: 

Andrew Carnegie. The Gospel of Wealth. New York: Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2017 (first published in 1889).