on March 15, 2003
Anyone who reads this classic self help book will find it beneficial. It wouldn't have lasted as long as it has if it weren't helpful.
However, the first time I attempted to systematically put this book into practice, I was working with a domineering, loud, opinionated and outspoken person who subsequently stamped all over me and my "Carnegie" principles. True, many people (maybe a majority) will respond positively when you practice Dale Carnegie's plan, but there is a sizeable minority who will walk all over you regardless.
And a person who has self-image problems? I hate to say it, but Dale Carnegie's book can set them up to be mowed over.
I have balanced Dale Carnegie with Manuel J. Smith's book WHEN I SAY NO I FEEL GUILTY. I found it more effective when I built a good, healthy respect for myself first. Then guess what! I found myself winning more friends and influencing more people!
on December 15, 2013
I bought this because of people I know who have read it and gone onwards to successful business positions and because of the many reviews indicating that this book was the cause of improvements in careers. I don't know whether that will be the case for me.
The book is good. The language and examples are somewhat dated, which is not unexpected, but not so dated to sound irrelevant. I do believe that the lessons provided throughout the book are useful in daily interactions with other people, but many of them are fairly intuitive - don't criticize, admit your errors, etc.
Some of the advice would be useful to pretty much anyone who deals with other people in any capacity, if not in work, in home life, or in other social situations, or with customer service people we encounter. On the other hand, some of the advice lends itself better to people who work in a capacity as a leader over subordinate employees.
The kindle edition of this is easy to read but there are a number of typos and weird paragraph breaks - I'm not sure if these are also found in the printed text or not. Either way, they don't make it unreadable.
I probably will try consciously to put some of the practices that Carnegie espouses into action and see how it goes - I don't doubt that if practiced consciously and with dedication, my relationships likely will improve. Overall I'm giving this three stars because while it does provide good advice and it's always worth being reminded of ways to improve our interactions with others, most of it we would probably already know. That said, the book was $0.99 on kindle, so why not give it a chance?
on February 19, 1999
This book is about making people like you. However, most of the techniques tought are much too simple and ineffective.
When I was reading the book, I was surprised to recognize many little tricks people were using in order to have their way with me. These tricks were so obvious that I always wanted to ask the people: "Just how stupid you think I am? Do you really think I'm not seeing what you're really up to?" Most of the techniques Mr. Carnegie suggested were very easy to recognize and there was no chance anybody could make me like him by using'em.
At that time, I was everything but advanced in psychology. What I'm saying is that when you use Mr. Carnegie's tricks, there's a great chance that people you're dealing with will recognize them and react negatively. The book is easy to read and can certainly give you some good basics on human psychology, but if you want to be really successful in your communication, you'll need much more than Mr. Carnegie's ancient wisdom. (Besides - I can't let it be unmentioned - on a few occasions, the good old Dale Carnegie is simply wrong.)
There is one more thing you should know. When Mr. Carnegie talks about "friends", he means "customers". You might make customers with his techniques, but you probably won't make any friends. In fact, you should be careful with using some of Mr. Carnegies tricks on your friends if you don't want to lose them.
I'm not saying the book is bad. I'm not saying it's good either. It's mediocre, no more, no less - that's what the 3 stars're for.
on March 17, 2002
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.
on August 16, 2002
This book starts well but then it seems to become dull. It does have some good basic principles of relating well to others, but some of the book seems to give advice that sounds manipulative rather than honest. It is a decent read nonetheless. If you like this one, I also recommend "The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. So I would think that most people would like Mr. Carnegie's book (being that it's very well known). Hopefully it will indeed help you in winning friends and influencing people!
on May 16, 2002
I used to like this book. I did... really! For some reason I kept it all these years. In reality, this book suffers from its conversational style. The advice offered comes down to manipulative maneuvers like "Smile" and "Appreciate other people"
For those looking for a success-type book, I recommend these titles:
_7 Habits of Highly Effective People_
_Greatest Networker in the World_
on November 24, 2014
I purchased this when I was trying out a home business, but I did not find it much good.
I have always been honoust, kind, look people in the eyes when talking and a good listener and that is basically what it comes down too.
If you try to manipulate a friendship or customers unless your a good actor, people see right through it and will not trust you, just the opposite of what you want
on February 4, 2004
This book tells you the truth about life. "People are generally interested only in themselves, so if you act interested in them they will like you better". There's no denying that and if you apply these principles you will probably be more succesful in a business sense. The fact is that we can't force ourselves to be interested in someone else, so this book encourages you to be deceptive with a fake smile and flattering words. I would advise going to a local college and taking a few acting classes before attempting to apply these principles.
on January 10, 1999
I think that every person on this planet shold read this book becouse it may show us how to comunicate to each othe rand to have good will.Also, i have opinion about the author.He knows how to lead the people to the path of succes.And he knows that the good will can make good progress.
on April 2, 2004
I wouldn't recommend this book if someone is trying to do the right thing and wants to truly make a difference in other people's lives. If you are looking to make it to the top and don't really care who you manipulate to get there, this is the book to read. Don't expect to make friends by using this book. To make friends, you don't always have to agree with someone, or be perky all the time, just be you.
Carnegie's heart may be in the right place as far as some of the principles go. He has a point, if we are good to other people, they will be good to us in return. At least that is how it should work. The thing he never addresses, is that this isn't always true. Sometimes no matter how hard we try, things don't get better, and some really great people never make it to the top. I think he should at least make it known that this isn't fool-proof, and that sometimes people don't appreciate others no matter what is said or done.
The most important thing about this book is that Carnegie makes us think. It does make a person stop and think about how they are acting towards others.
I came up with my own principle after reading this book. It has really nothing to do with the book itself, but rather what I think he left out... To be a true influence on others, be real, be kind, and be respectful. If you do those things you will touch lives every day. To make friends and be a true influence, do just one thing, be genuine.