Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (3/5)

29 Jan

I found a copy of this book at a library book sale that is from 1964! I lent it to a friend and the pages started falling out of the binding because the glue is so old! He got it back to me with all the pages held between the covers but I decided I was better off listening to this book rather than praying I wasn’t reading it on a windy day that would take my pages away.

Cover image via Goodreads

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Summary from Amazon

Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you:

-Six ways to make people like you

-Twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking

-Nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

And much more! Achieve your maximum potential—a must-read for the twenty-first century with more than 15 million copies sold!

I had to use the Amazon summary because my Goodreads summary was in Spanish. Is anyone else having this problem?

I really liked this book. It wasn’t the engaging reading I usually have while running, but the short stories did help keep me engaged. They were really good at demonstrating how someone could use the principles in real life. I did feel they were a bit dated, however. The version I listened to was the 1998 publication and I think that it would have felt dated even then. A lot of the advice seems like common sense, but implementing them when you’re in a tough situation isn’t common sense. It would take work to make sure your mind switched to these techniques in throes of anger or frustration.

I can see why this is such a popular book. When I think of my close friends and people at work I want to deal with, I think they fit many of the characteristics in this book. They can win someone over with ease. They’re friendly. They smile, take a genuine interest in something I’m interested in, and they aren’t bossy when they need me to do something.

Dale Carnegie
Image via Biography

I think winning someone to my way of thinking was my favorite section. I’m one who tends to argue when someone doesn’t agree with me. I am quick to anger and I can get to shouting very fast. Carnegie’s advice to get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately is great and I like the idea of it. I’ll try to start doing this one when I have to get my husband to understand cleaning the bathroom is in his best interest.

I thought the first section on how to get people to like you was a little basic and set a lower standard for the rest of the book. The advice here, to smile, to listen, to make the other person feel important, feel like things you do to a boss you don’t actually like, not with a real friend. A friendship in this style would be very one-sided and might not be good for the person following Carnegie’s advice.

My audiobook was narrated by Andrew Macmillian. I felt he did a fair job. His accent reminded me of James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life. By that, I mean it sounded ‘old time-y American.’ I’m not sure if Macmillian was going for this, as the original publication date of this book was the 1930s, or if he really speaks like that. As the examples in the book felt dated, the accent didn’t seem out-of-place.

I’m sure we’ve all run across someone, either personally or at work, that was a chore to deal with. This book seems to be written for that person, not for the Average Joe. I know someone people who could really use this advice, but on the whole, most people I know already take some or all of this to heart and are practicing at least some of Carnegie’s lessons unintentionally. It would be a really good backhanded Christmas present for that aunt that no one likes!

Writer’s Takeaway: Carnegie did a good job of illustrating his point with good examples. He drew from a wide variety of people to get good stories to illustrate each example. I’m glad these weren’t as one-sided as I thought they would be (toward dominant men in business). Though I’m not sure how much of that was edited in or included in the original.

I liked this book but didn’t find it as life-changing as I thought I would. Three out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the 1920-1939 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

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Related Posts:
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie | amandanerd
How to Win Friends and Influence People: old vs. new | All Things Alicia


2 Responses to “Book Review: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (3/5)”

  1. beckylindroos January 29, 2018 at 10:49 AM #

    My dad read and reread that book from cover to cover back in the early 1960s. He swore by it. lol – I think I must have read it then, age about 15 or 16.


    • Sam January 29, 2018 at 1:51 PM #

      How crazy that it’s still relevant today! Have you read it since? Happy reading!


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