I really enjoyed reading this book. The principles that Carnegie teaches in this work — even though it was originally written in the early 1900s — I find are just as relevant in our day as it was in his. The stories he weaves throughout the book back up and really help to drive home the principles that he is teaching.
It’s interesting to note that the central theme of all the principles Carnegie covers are based around the need that people have to feel important. If you can learn to do this, then “you hold the world in the palm of your hands”, as Carnegie claims.
It’s a valid and, I think, accurate point. I for one, like to be around people who make me feel good about who I am and allow me to make a contribution in some meaningful way. I think we all want this. It’s a fundamental need of our species.
The one criticism I do have with this book is that he doesn’t seem to put enough emphasis on the importance of doing these “techniques” with sincerity. Simply learning the principles he outlines and trying to apply them won’t be effective unless you truly mean it. Other than those who are socially inept, most people can see straight through someone trying to win our favor using “hollow” techniques.
All in all though, it’s a good read. And I wouldn’t hesitate recommending you add this to your collection of personal development books.
How to Win Friends & Influence People is the nineteenth of fifty-two books in Life Training – Online’s series 52 Personal Development Books in 52 Weeks.