Thursday, August 24, 2006

Dale Carnegie's Big Book

Dale Carnegie wrote How to Win Friends and Influence People exactly 70 years ago. He had a nerve, since his own early life — failed Missouri farmer, failed teacher, failed journalist, failed actor, failed novelist, failed husband and, most spectacularly, failed investor (he lost his shirt in the Wall Street Crash) — was not exactly a compelling advertisement for self-help.

But he turned the wreckage of serial disaster into the pillar of lasting success. “The reason I wrote the book was because I have blundered so often myself,” he admitted candidly. He believed that there was a market for a “practical working handbook on human relations” — and boy, was he proved right. How to Win Friends went on to acquire 16 million readers and be published in 36 languages. Carnegie’s homely aphorisms — “If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive” — were digested throughout the corporate world by ambitious men and women intent on climbing their respective greasy poles. His rules for massaging the thoughts and desires of colleagues and business contacts became fundamental laws in the black arts of public relations, spindoctoring, salesmanship and office politics.

Read the entire Times article here.

Arts & Letters Daily ]

No comments: