There aren’t many people who don’t want to be liked or influential. Which may be the primary reason that Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People, first printed in 1937, has become such a classic. After all, as many can attest, it’s not what you know but whom you know — and whether or not they like you. Drawing on the words of Sigmund Freud, William James and Abraham Lincoln (as well as anecdotes from everyday people), Carnegie’s book offers a list of tenets to help readers lead in life and work: offer honest appreciation to others, smile freely and don’t ever call direct attention to people’s mistakes. “Show respect for the other person’s opinions,” reads one of Carnegie’s rules. “Never say, ‘You’re wrong.’” How to Win Friends was one of the first major self-help books, paving the way for one of the publishing industry’s most reliable and lucrative genres. And it’s arguably the most influential; its sage advice rings true nearly 75 years later.
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