Industrial Genius: The Working Life of Charles Michael Schwab

Industrial Genius: The Working Life of Charles Michael Schwab

by Kenneth Warren
     
 

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Charles Schwab was known to his employees, business associates, and competitors as a congenial and charismatic person-a 'born salesman.' Yet Schwab was much more than a salesman-he was a captain of industry, a man who streamlined and economized the production of steel and ran the largest steelmaking conglomerate in the world. A self-made man, he became one of the

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Overview

Charles Schwab was known to his employees, business associates, and competitors as a congenial and charismatic person-a 'born salesman.' Yet Schwab was much more than a salesman-he was a captain of industry, a man who streamlined and economized the production of steel and ran the largest steelmaking conglomerate in the world. A self-made man, he became one of the wealthiest Americans during the Gilded Age, only to die penniless in 1939.

Schwab began his career as a stake driver at Andrew Carnegie's Edgar Thomson steel works in Pittsburgh at the age of seventeen. By thirty-five, he was president of Carnegie Steel. In 1901, he helped form the U.S. Steel Corporation, a company that produced well over half the nation's iron and steel. In 1904, Schwab left U.S. Steel to head Bethlehem Steel, which after twelve years under his leadership, became the second-largest steel producer in America. President Woodrow Wilson called on Schwab to head the Emergency Fleet Corporation to produce merchant ships for the transport of troops and materials abroad during World War I.

Kenneth Warren presents a compelling biography that chronicles the startling success of Schwab's business career, his leadership abilities, and his drive to advance steel-making technology and operations. Through extensive research and use of previously unpublished archival documentation, Warren offers a new perspective on the life of a monumental figure—a true visionary—in the industrial history of America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A fascinating portrait . . . Warren effectively cuts through the historical mythology surrounding Schwab's larger-than-life persona to reveal a man ruthlessly devoted to efficiency and technological innovation."
Technology and Culture

"Warren, one of the best historians of the American steel industry, has used newly available papers to craft the fullest, most balanced account of Schwab's professional life to date, while offering new details of how Bethlehem Steel became the great business enterprise it was for the first seventy-five years of the twentieth century."
PA Magazine of History and Biography


“In his marvelous business biography of Charles Schwab, Kenneth Warren demonstrates yet again his talents as a historian of industrial America. Warren's portrait of Schwab is beautifully written, superbly documented, and filled with insights. It is the perfect complement to his earlier and equally superb biography of Henry Frick.”
—David Nasaw, author of Andrew Carnegie

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822961994
Publisher:
University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date:
02/28/2007
Edition description:
1
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth Warren is Emeritus Fellow of Jesus College, University of Oxford. He is the author of numerous books, including Big Steel: The First Century of the United States Steel Corporation 1901-2001, and Wealth, Waste and Alienation: Growth and Decline in the Connellsville Coke Industry.

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