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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It won me over.
A classic (originally published in the 30's) and a must-have, this timeless piece of work can help just about anybody get along better with others and win them over to their way of thinking. Don't have a lot of time to spare? Don't worry. The book is divided into short sections, each one devoted to a particular principle that is well illustrated with many practical...
Published on Oct. 13 2007 by T. R.

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85 of 106 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insincere appreciation or sincere manipulation?
This book could easily be re-titled "How to Manipulate People and Act Phony," or perhaps, "The True Selfishness of the Human Ego and How to Harness to it for Your Own Personal Gain." I first found this book when I was 19 and thought, "Wow, I'll read this book and finally everyone will recognize me as the good-hearted person I am." The "Gandhian" in me still thought so...
Published on March 17 2002


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It won me over., Oct. 13 2007
A classic (originally published in the 30's) and a must-have, this timeless piece of work can help just about anybody get along better with others and win them over to their way of thinking. Don't have a lot of time to spare? Don't worry. The book is divided into short sections, each one devoted to a particular principle that is well illustrated with many practical examples. In this way, you can read a chapter quickly, stop and do other things you have to do if necessary, and get back to the book when you have time- all without losing continuity.

Thoroughly entertaining by using fun and interesting examples, I don't think many readers will regret checking this one out and I like to think of this book as a kind of Human Relations 101 of sorts. Also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for further reading on motivational principles.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent tips, but not the bible, Jan. 21 2009
By 
B. Fulton "thegreenrabbit.ca" (Toronto, ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I normally don't write reviews, but after reading the shockingly cynical comments I had to add my 2 cents.

This book is great for people who have trouble communicating, it gives valuable tips for improving self confidence when speaking, initiating conversation, remembering names and getting buy in.

While it is meant primarily to help in business relationships, I found it has been helpful in my personal life. A normally shy person, the book has helped me start conversations and meet new people. Speaking in terms of people's interests is about getting that conversation started, not about faking an interest and pretending to have the same interests.

Even though the book is titled "How to win friends .." the purpose of the book is not to literally win you friends, it's about improving communication, sales and presentation skills. There is nothing ground breaking in this book and in fact all the principles are simply principles of common sense but it helps you put them into action day-to-day.

I highly recommend this book for people who need help breaking out of their shell, for people who work in sales or give presentations, or for anyone who wants to move up in their job.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read but with caution, Aug. 17 2002
By 
Abdullah Z Jefri "Aceous" (Saudi Arabia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When I was 12 years old my best friend gave me a copy of this book and told me that I might find it interesting. He could not have been more right, for I delved deep into the book and I finished it in a matter of 2 weeks (to me it was a record to finish a book so quickly at that age!) I found the book to be very informative and entertaining at the same time. The author, Mr. Dale Carnegie, will not introduce a principle or a notion without supporting it with at least one real life story where the principle introduced was proven effective. After that point I noticed a great, almost immediate, effect on my behavior as I was growing up. I noticed that I have become a very good negotiator with my parents and teachers, more popular at school, and I even began to understand people much better than I used to prior to reading the book. I grew up believing that this book was one of the greatest factors involved in shaping my character.
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. Understanding those factors and satisfying them will be the most effective method of influence you'll ever need.
Mr. Carnegie begins the book with the foundations of developing this skill of understanding others. He extends three principles that if applied will help you identify what other people want and how you can satisfy them. After that he introduces six ways to make people like you. These methods hover around the same three principles mentioned in the beginning of the book. After that the author discusses in two parts methods and principles that help you influence people to your way of thinking.
All of this seems interesting but why are people criticizing this book, you wonder. The first issue with this book is the title. It says "How to win friends and influence people." I would have called it "How to make people like you and influence their behavior." The methods Dale introduces aren't for winning friends. You don't win friends by avoiding arguments and by projecting enthusiasm that is not honest. You'll only have them like you, but they are not won as friends, yet at least. Honesty is absent in Carnegie's teachings, and sometimes even unadvised! In one story he tells of a manager of a singer who would lie to the singer just to get him on stage!
Another observation I had on the book was the relevance of some of the stories to the principle being introduced. Some of those principles would not have worked in the stories he mentioned have the circumstances been even little different! Yet Dale would acclaim the introduced principle as the reason that the story reached the happy ending it did. But, to the benefit of the author, this happened only a few times overall and it doesn't degrade the whole quality of the book.
Nevertheless, the lack of emphasis on honesty is a serious issue. This has caused many reviewers to warn readers from reading this book. But here is where I disagree.
You'll need to read this book to learn the methods, not just to be able to understand other people, but also to be ready when others are applying them to influence you. I'll have to agree that some of these methods are extremely powerful especially if the receiver isn't ready for them. Reading this book will make you resilient to the weapons of many unwanted salesmen and negotiators.
My advice is to read but with caution. Learn the methods but always remember that honesty should always be present when these methods are being applied.
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85 of 106 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insincere appreciation or sincere manipulation?, March 17 2002
By A Customer
This book could easily be re-titled "How to Manipulate People and Act Phony," or perhaps, "The True Selfishness of the Human Ego and How to Harness to it for Your Own Personal Gain." I first found this book when I was 19 and thought, "Wow, I'll read this book and finally everyone will recognize me as the good-hearted person I am." The "Gandhian" in me still thought so naïve an objective was possible.
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. This is not a book about how to deepen relationships or how to broaden our worldview, nor does it teach us how to become genuinely compassionate and remove our prejudices, nor does it aim us in the direction of any kind of true self-realization. Least of all is this a book about putting an end to the futility of looking for happiness outside oneself. This book is about sales. In fact, this book was primarily developed as a text for Mr. Carnegie's class on salesmanship. At the point in American history in which this book was written, there was great need for training and educating in business management. Dale Carnegie stepped into that role and has remained the archetype of corporate (i.e., insincere) niceness ever since. All those clerks, phone solicitors, even used car salesmen, you can thank Mr. Carnegie for having taught them everything they know about hooking the customer by pretending to care. I would not, therefore, suggest anyone use any of these techniques on those they truly love because, like I said, this is a book about manipulation.
The unfortunate thing about this book is that it works. This manipulation is so effective and so brilliantly obvious that it is amazing people still "fall" for it after more than 50 years in print. Perhaps the most manipulative bits of advice, also being the most painfully truthful, are: to every person the most beautiful word in any language is their own name; the greatest desire of all people is to feel important; never forget that everyone you meet considers themselves your superior in some way; a person's headache means more to them than the death of a million people in an African famine; when dealing with people we are not dealing with animals of reason, but beings swayed by emotion, bigotry, prejudice, and vanity. The Gandhian in me sees that all of the above-described, obviously selfish, traits are actually the cause of great loneliness and sorrow in this world, and is therefore frustrated that rather than teaching us to overcome these traits Mr. Carnegie simply teaches us how to harness them and use them for our own personal gain. Are we to believe the key to fulfillment is to manipulate others' feelings of lack of fulfillment? The result is simply a reinforcement of selfishness in others and oneself, and perhaps the resulting loneliness, frustration, and isolation. Mr. Carnegie claims that this is not the case and that this book is teaching compassion and seeing things from the other person's perspective, but even I am not that naïve anymore.
And that is my main problem with this book: the terribly shallow definition it implies for the word "friend." Is a friend someone you manipulate for the sake for making the sale? Or is a friend someone you can be honest with, even if that honesty means revealing how selfish us human beings can be? I am grateful to Dale Carnegie for helping me realize just how selfish and egotistical people often are (myself included), but I am frustrated with him for implying that manipulating that selfishness is what constitutes a friendship.
I refuse to fool myself as to the true nature of this book. I use these techniques consciously when I feel I am at the mercy of people who do not care about me and would rather have me out of their face as soon as possible. But this is not friendship; this is desperation. If I were to fool myself and internalize these techniques and convince myself that this was friendship, I wouldn't know how to have a real honest and loving relationship with anyone - I would live the life of the plastic smile you see on employees in department stores and fast food chains.
I use these techniques to influence people when I have to, but I wouldn't want to be friends with anyone who would fall for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Due for an update, Feb. 8 2014
By 
Darlene Cross - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
You know its 75years old, definitely pro American, and vaguely gender neutral. The book would be more effective and pleasant to listen to if it were rewritten/updated.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it, Sept. 4 2002
By 
Ms Diva "cycworker" (Nanaimo, B.C. Canada) - See all my reviews
I read this book because I'd always wanted to read it, and because an acquaintance reccommended it. The reason the rating I'm giving it is so low isn't because the ideas are bad, per se, but because the writing style is so annoying to my modern reader's ear that I found the book incredibly hard to read.
The ideas themselves, as I said, are fine. I don't find that Carnegie's suggestions are manipulative. In fact, he makes it clear at least two or three times that people who try to use his techniques and suggestions to manipulate people will find that they aren't successful. Alot of what Carnegie is suggesting is basic common sense: be empathetic, be a good listener, don't stuck in a position and instead focus on finding common interests, and give constructive criticism. These are all very useful tips. I appreciated the way Carnegie summed up each chapter with a one sentence bullet. I also liked how each part had a listing of the key point of each chapter from that section. It made skimming through the book much easier.
Many of the chapters are repetitive - he talks about criticism in at least three chapters, and he's essentially just expanding on the same point. I would've preferred few chapters providing a more in-depth examination of the key topics, rather than reading alot of chapters that were essentially repetitive. His examples were archaic, which didn't help. Overall, the writing style was frutrating to me as a modern reader. In general, other authors, such as Stephen Covey (Seven Habits For Highly Effective People) and Roger Fisher (Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations) have addressed the points Carnegie is making in a deeper, more interesting manner.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is what "works" always what's best? Or: "gag.", Sept. 21 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: How to Win Friends and Influence People (Paperback)
You're really going to let me have it, aren't you? How DARE I give but one star to the great How to Win Friends and Influence People?

Forgive me. I do so as a matter of principle.

This material works -- depending on how you define "works." What is your objective? If your principle aim in reading this book is to improve your likeability in more superficial day-to-day relationships, in business contexts in particular, you have found your manual. If your capacity to rationalize is strong enough to allow you to believe you aren't constantly being insincere when putting this book's advice into practice, or you simply aren't bothered by insincerity, then buy the book, and again, please forgive my low rating. You will, following the advice, be more likeable and persuasive. And if your definition of "friends" is sweeping and indiscriminate, you'll make more of those, too.

I have two criticisms of the book.

First, I find much -- not all -- of its advice unbearable to follow. You may be nothing like me, and would not have this problem. But while I recognize the importance of friendliness, care with others' feelings, and "getting along," I can endure only so much insincerity. This book goes too far. The awkward word would be "schmoozing"; How to Win Friends and Influence People is a guide to mastery of that practice. Were I to follow the advice given closely, I would be unable to look myself in the mirror without nausea. If working towards your black belt in schmoozing isn't for you, you might feel as I do about a substantial portion of Carnegie's advice.

My second criticism is the real reason for the single star. This is where principle comes in. A reviewer below expresses it well, and got few helpful votes for it. But I believe he has it *right*: THIS SORT OF MATERIAL CAN BE USED JUST AS EASILY FOR EVIL AS FOR GOOD. (Sorry for shouting.)

Let me illustrate with the situation that resulted in my becoming motivated enough to write this review, even though I read the book over two years ago.

There's a fellow who represents one of the resellers we do business with where I work. We buy a lot of computer networking gear from him. I have absolutely been able to determine that this fellow is unscrupulous and dishonest. He really tries to get away with things, like surreptitiously altering final lease agreements before the upper-level boss signs them, claiming he doesn't remember points he agreed to, and changing figures and pricing because the changes may not get noticed (that happens!). When (if) these things get noticed, he just claims they were "mistakes."

I tried to point these behaviors out to two of my bosses, but somehow they couldn't accept it. They kept saying things like, "[First name]? No, [first name]'s a 'good guy'; there must be some mistake" and "I don't buy that; [first name] is one of the most decent, customer-focused reps I know." I even got myself in a little hot water with one of these managers by writing a "harsh" e-mail about this rep.

This was driving me *nuts* because I know this is not true. This rep is dishonest. So, I tried to figure out why neither of my bosses were willing to accept, or even consider, what I was telling them. Why does this guy seem to be able to get away with anything?

I am confident I figured it out: he has VERY STRONG SOCIAL SKILLS. I've been in a few meetings with him and had one lunch with him. He is soft spoken and mild mannered, he takes a seemingly genuine interest in you and what you're up to in your job and even your life, he compliments you and your efforts with remarkable sincerity, he expresses admiration for you ("that is something; I really wish I had your ability to..."), he is self-deprecating, he smiles, more. It's quite disarming. He seems to be very effective at putting the principles espoused in Carnegie's book INTO PRACTICE.

And that's why he is, I must say, a likeable fellow. But because of this, he gets away with a marked lack of integrity in his practices. Yes, there's no question Carnegie's principles work (see above on "work"). It would be foolish not to incorporate at least some of Carnegie's basic suggestions into one's social repertoire. But again, these principles can be used for "evil" just as easily as they can be used for good. People all too easily mistake likeability for such things as integrity, ability, and sincerity. Do we want to encourage insincerity for the sake of social effectiveness?

By all means, getting along is an essential skill. And some people use the importance of being "sincere" as an excuse to be crass, to be disrespectful, to be careless with others' feelings. As such, some of Carnegie's advice has its place. But I feel that what we really need, over all, moderated with kindness and care, is more TRUTH in our interpersonal relationships. And less effort directed towards the use of social skills as a tool to manipulate others in pursuit of our personal goals.

My single star won't hurt the average on Carnegie's book. There are many stellar reviews. But if you were to ask me whether the world would be a better place with or without this book, I'd hesitate.

Then I'd answer: "without."

/\/\

=====

A little follow-up. I sent an e-mail to another fellow who proffered a less-than-glowing review. In corresponding with him, I learned that people from Dale Carnegie Training (proudly listing "Franchise Opportunities" on their Web site) had written him many times with unflattering (at minimum) commentary in response. Remarkable, no?

Insofar as the non-helpful votes, maybe I was more helpful than I thought. :-)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not as Manipulative as the Negative Reviewers would have you think, Nov. 30 2011
I was very cautious of this book after reading the negative reviews. I find the whole idea of a book that teaches people how to manipulate others more than a bit disgusting. But it is not nearly so bad as that.

For the most part, the author gives common sense advice that could be boiled down to: mind your manners, don't make anyone feel stupid, avoid an argument in favour of a mutually beneficial compromise whenever possible, and treat everyone with respect and as a unique individual - regardless of who they are or what they may be able to "do for you" in the future.

There is some stuff about how to gain favour with anyone by stroking their ego and so on (that people love to talk about themselves, etc, all of which is true), but it is pretty benign since it is basically about making people feel appreciated, respected and valuable. Sure, if you can do that easily and most of the time other people will seek out your company (because your company is pleasant to them) and want to return the honour that you paid them later (because humans are socially reciprocating beings). But the author talks about doing it for it's own sake, and that is *still* a pretty worthy aim, in my humble opinion.

It truly would be a much better and happier world if more people put a little bit of energy into being kind to others every day - just for the sake of doing so. And this book does exhort the reader to do just that. It's not a tome on master manipulation, but more on how to make your own life much easier simply by being kind and helping others to feel good about themselves during their day whenever the opportunity presents itself to you. And the opportunity does present itself quite often to all of us. It's no extra effort at all to be nice on the most basic levels, and why not do so? This book mostly attempts to teach you how to go the extra mile and personalise every nice interaction, but this does, nonetheless, serve to remind the reader of the many effortless opportunities for basic kindness that present themselves to all of us all day and every day.

Here's to good will and good manners! We don't value these things enough to really cultivate them anymore these days.

Perennial good advice, and I would recommend a read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Fountain of Corporate Speak, Aug. 15 2002
By 
Thomas M. Seay (Palo Alto, California USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I usually dont read or comment on low-brow books such as this, however this book has had such a vile impact on our world that it would be irresponsible for me to do otherwise.
One need only to have listened to the oblique babbling of most corporate managers to realize that this is their Bible.
Admittedly it will help your career. You will learn how to speak out of both sides of your mouth, appear agreeable at all times,
and engage in all manner of corporate BS. Everyone will like you, except for those ne'er-do goods-who abhor pretension and deceit. And, most importantly, you will get that raise! After all, get real, being honest, principled and lucid won't pay the rent and may even get you a pink slip.
If you want to "get ahead" buy this book!
If you are like me and amuse yourself by reading the kind of obfuscate and dissimulating language found in those emails from managers that arrive in your workplace computer, get this book for a good laugh! Dale Carnegie is the St. Paul of American Yuppies.
Thomas
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is now obsolete., Sept. 19 2001
"Today we come across an individual who behaves like an automation, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be, whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replaced genuine laughter, and whose sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain...he suffers from defects of spontaneity and individuality..." As I can validate with the man who recommended this book to me, this observation by Erich Fromm is 100% on target with "Win Friends and Influence People".

This man, who practiced this book, presented himself as superficial, artificial, irregular, and consequently very annoying. He proved to me that these techniques do not facilitate communication- they stifle it. Instead of being direct, this man would only have the courage to give hints or make indirect statements in the form of questions. If I would attempt to explain something to him he didn't understand, he would immediately light up and go, "Oh! I see what you mean buddy." In my head I would think 'You couldn't possibly understand- I didn't even start explaining!' But that's how this "Win Friends" philosphy made him- he's not willing to go through any difficulty at all to understand and communicate with others.

The techniques in this book basically converted this man into a robot. Nobody really knows what kinds of things he's interested in - although at first you think his interests have a lot in common with yours. The man has no sincerity or credibility. When I see him smiling I don't know if he is genuinly happy or just trying to appear pleasant. When he says he agrees with me, it means nothing because he always seems to agree with everyone. I've come to take his liberal and exaggerated complements of me as insults because in doing this, he ignores what is truly worth praise and I know that anything he does for me is really only for his image.
I'll sum up this book for you:
1. Fake interest in other people's hobbies to get what you want out of them.
2. Pretend to agree with whatever people tell you so you'll be more popular.
3. Only express positive feelings ; do away with sincerity.
4. Make false excuses for your actions that people would be embarrased to turn down, called "Appealing to the Nobler Motives."
5. Talk your way out of what you behave yourself into (as if this was possible).

I witnessed the ineffectiveness of a man who devoted himself to this book; I tried this book myself for a while. My conclusions: It contains nothing more than deceptive, manipulative, superficial techniques that have no use and will lead to the detriment of yourself and your relationships. Instead, I recommend reading the book that made this one obsolete: "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Dr. Stephen R. Covey.
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How to Win Friends and Influence People
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (Paperback - Oct. 1 1998)
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