Recently though, I noticed some growing criticism of the book and its teaching, and I thought that this would be a good time for me to refresh what I learned from the book and assess its quality based on the experience I've gained since the first time I read the book. So I bought the unabridged audiotapes of the book and listened to it whenever I was in the car.
Mr. Carnegie said somewhere in the book that if one thing you learn from the book, which is the ability to understand the different views of other people in different situations, then that would be enough. And I agree wholeheartedly.
My judgment is that this book will indeed teach you how to understand the motives and the different forces playing in the different people you meet. Humans all across the globe share basic needs and characteristics that play a major role in forming their attitudes and decisions.Read more ›
This book was written in 1930s vernacular for a more wide-eyed and trusting America, complete with plenty Norman Rockwellesque "good golly gee" anecdotes where everything works out happily in the end. At times such a writing style can be endearing, in some places, particularly in the chapter where the author uses the resolution of a labor strike as illustration of the effectiveness of his principles, it can verge on offensive. It is somewhat amazing that this book has not been re-written completely because, despite the resent "revision," the style and format remains quite dated and stale. If not for the CD recordings I would have never made it through, as the inflection and dramatization of the narrator brings it a bit more to life. I also bought and read an old participant handbook from the Carnegie seminar as well as the biography, "Dale Carnegie: The Man Who Influenced Millions." This helped to put this book in the appropriate historical and social context.
Though Mr. Carnegie quotes from many people in this book, including the Buddha, and the revised edition even includes a few reflections on the wisdom of Martin Luther King Jr., there really is nothing "transcendent" to be found, and such quotations are often taken garishly out of context.Read more ›