If you are what you read, then I’m in trouble

Last week, when botanizing for something to while away the time flying home, I came across Dale Carnegie‘s How to win friends and influence people. Halfway remembering a comment by a professor of organizational psycology about this actually being a good book, I bought it.
It is, at least, an interesting book, both in itself and in the place it occupies. It is, as far as I know, the first really modern self-help book, and the Carnegie Institute (or whatever its name is) is still around, preaching the principles of Carnegie to all and sundry. The book’s message is deceptively simple: You can win friends and influence people by listening to them and behaving nicely – and the easiest way to do that is to actually mean it.
Despite the cheesiness, I like this book, mostly because the author writes very straightforward and without conceit. He does not try to cloak his argument in mysticism or displaced science. Instead, he sets up a principle for each chapter, then piles on the stories of famous people or course alumni who successfully or unsuccessfully have tried to apply it. No metaphors, no frameworks, just stories. Simple. In principle.

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One thought on “If you are what you read, then I’m in trouble

  1. Jorunn

    Well if we are what we read – one of the last books I finished was _How to lose friends and alienate people_… That was not a bad read either, although possibly somewhat less instructive 🙂
    I’ll have to comment on your _Da Vinci Code_-posting as well, I just need to finish it first 😉

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