Book Review : How to Win Friends and Influence People

"There's far more information in a Smile than a frown. That's why encouragement is a much more effective teaching device than punishment."

GENRE: Fiction

AUTHOR: Dale Carnegie

PAGES: 278



Dale Carnegie is an American writer, lecturer, and developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Dale Carnegie was a poor farmer's boy and the second son of James William Carnegie and Amanda Elizabeth Harbinson. He soon started teaching a course in public speaking and how to influence people which became quite popular seeing hundreds of thousands of people seeking the course. This was simply because at that point in time there were philosophies but no concrete & practical methodologies which were taught.


The book is written in straightforward Chapter by Chapter format, each chapter comprising of one principle followed by real world examples of its implementation by - well-known figures to people in normal corporate jobs taking the course. The prose of the book is quite simple to understand, and though the book was written in 1932, the principles are still as valid in the present time as they were in 1932. This could be attributed to the fact that human response or behavior remains the same when subjected to certain conditions.


The book is divided into four parts containing four different categories, each in turn containing various principles about it. These are as follow:

Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People

Part Two: Six ways to make people like you

Part Three: How to win people to your way of thinking

Part Four: Be a Leader: How to change people without giving offence or arousing resentment

Most of the above principles written are kind of self-explanatory. However, Dale Carnegie iterates and re-iterates it in the book that these principles will not work if you wish to manipulate people. Only genuine interest works. Thus, in order to master these principles, one has to take the first step and be genuine and take an interest in other people. After all, that is the whole purpose of taking this course. Nothing appears magically and the only thing people are really interested in are themselves; it is the basic human behavior. 

You have to take interest in people. Period. You have to talk about what they want, and not what you want - a mistake fatal to a Sales person's career. There are various principles that are talked about in the book but this is what forms the core of those principles to apply. These were followed by Lincoln to Rockefeller to any great man you know. These are being followed by the successful entrepreneur you see or even by a normal person in your office who has made great progress in his career which you're so jealous of.


Isn't that how we all think when we open our laptops and access our daily work emails? Let's be honest, we are all thinking along these lines - when we get our company's newsletters telling about how big they have become or they got the advertisement on Times square or how they got a new website up and running, and so on and so forth. And can you see what mistakes the companies are making in those newsletters or emails? I think it's self-evident.

Talking to the point, the book is worth reading. For everyone who is willing to make a change in their life, this book is worth it's salt. The style of writing is simple and easy to understand to an average or even a new reader and the principles very practical. As they have stated in the book, you can read and re-read each chapter and can treat this book as a working handbook; or as they have stated in the book:

In order to get the most out of this book:

a. Develop a deep, driving desire to master the principles of human relations,

b. Read each chapter twice before going on to the next one.

c. As you read, stop frequently to ask yourself how you can apply each suggestion. 

d. Underscore each important idea.

e. Review this book each month. 

f. Apply these principles at every opportunity. Use this volume as a working handbook to help you solve your daily problems. 

g. Make a lively game out of your learning by offering some friend a dime or a dollar every time he or she catches you violating one of these principles. 

h. Check up each week on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what mistakes you have made, what improvement, what lessons you have learned for the future.

i. Keep notes in the back of this book showing how and when you have applied these principles.

I highly recommend this book. A Timeless bestseller indeed!






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