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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 October 2002
How to win friends and influence people was first written in 1937 by Dale Carnegie. Since then the book has been revised and has evolved into one of the all time international best sellers. Having sold around 15 million copies and been translated into innumerable languages, How to win friends and influence people has undoubtedly engraved itself into publishing history.
The book was originally written as an accompanying text to Dale Carnegie's courses in 'Effective Speaking and Human Relations' which are still attended throughout the world by thousands of people looking to enrich their people skills.
At the end of each section, 'nutshell' comments are given to provide an overview of the concepts covered in the previous chapter. This also serves a purpose by allowing the reader to skim through the chapters after the book has been read. The nutshell comments are short and succinct and easily to recollect.
The ambiguous title of the book provides little clue as to the profundity of the contents. There are numerous self-help books out there but the benchmark has been categorically set in this field by this book. If you have never read a book of this type I wholeheartedly recommend it as a toe dipping exercise, you won't be disappointed.
The target readership of the book is difficult to define. I would definitely recommend this book be read by anyone who works in a professional capacity. But I believe the book can be quite thought provoking for anybody who has even a basic interest in human interaction or psychology.
Perhaps a small criticism is that the tone in which the book is written can become a little monotonous. However, having read the book a few times I have found the best way to get the most out the book is to read it in small concentrated sections. This allows you to directly apply the concepts explored between 'sittings' which make the book less of a challenge to get through.
It is important to remember that this book was written quite some time ago. Therefore, it contains some material that may be perhaps a little questionable from a modern perspective. Other reviews have accused the book of possibly making shy and nervous personalities even more subservient. However, as a reader you should take an objective view when reading the book to ensure some balance.
The book is written in an old fashioned tone which some readers may not warm to. I personally found the traditional style of writing quite refreshing having read more modern versions of similar books. Once you acclimatise yourself with the style of writing the book takes on a whole new meaning.
This is not a book that you can (or should) be read once and then put on your bookshelf. The book not only offers information on human nature but also provides methods of applying the contents on a day-to-day basis.
Throughout the book there is considerable supporting anecdotal evidence that embellishes the main text. These examples are subtly incorporated which contributes to the fluency and depth of the arguments presented. Examples of case studies used include Theodore Roosevelt, Sigmund Freud, Abraham Lincoln and Al Capone. Dale Carnigie also uses true stories from participants of the original course. These wonderfully dated scenarios add a classic feel to each chapter that modern equivalents would simply not be able to capture.
In my opinion How to win friends and influence people is a timeless classic. It has wonderful charm which makes captivating and enlightening reading. A wonderfully written book with charisma and depth that may change your change your life forever, at the very least it will confirm what you already know. When applied with enthusiasm the many concepts explored in this book will undoubtedly enable you to win friends and influence people.
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on 28 March 2002
This is an exceptional book. It helped with my personal life as well as my business life. It should be a required reading for anyone who wants to improve his/her life.
I would recommend the audio book edition since anyone must return from time to time to the readings of this excellent book, and it helped me in my driving hours to be reminded of the hundreds of values it teaches but are hard to make part of ourselves with one reading.
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on 8 July 2002
I've read this book many times, and for me it is a constant source of inspiration. If you ever wondered how and why some people are adept and handling people in terms of social and work situations?; then this is the book for you.
Despite being written in the 1930's, this book stands head and shoulders over a lot of self-help books along these lines. And even though it sounds out of touch (at times) with the modern world (for example - how many times have you decided to make someone's day by complimenting them on their wonderful 'head of hair') it is still a workable,readable but ultimately usable book for those who wish to better themselves through an clearer understanding of human nature. It is THE original and best of its type, and is (if the world is to be a better place) essential.
Dale Carnegie had a 'common-sense' approach of how to deal with his fellow humans with sensitivity and fairness, through a love of life and of people in general. In this book he puts all that knowledge across with dazzling authority, and it makes for a compelling read. It is for these (and many other) reasons it will almost certainly, when put into practice correctly, enable you to win friends and influence people!
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on 23 May 2007
This book tells you everything that you already know - and leaves you wondering how come, when you know it is the right thing to do, you don't do it.

If you start following the advice it gives, you will notice an immediate difference.
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on 13 February 2009
I bought my first copy of this book in 1975, at the time I could remember thinking that I could do with more friends and more influence, but I had no idea how Carnegie's teaching would change the way I looked at the world. When I first read the book I was still sceptical, but I put it to the test and was amazed at the results. In my first attempt at applying Carnegie's principles I persuaded a senior BT engineer (then the GPO) to re-route an entire street of telegraph poles at their expense so that I could gain vehicle access to a carpark we needed to expand the family business. It was so easy I was embarrassed, it almost felt like cheating! But over the last forty years I have seen amazing results in my personal and business life directly as a result of following the rules set out in this book. Buy it, read it and inwardly absorb it - you will not regret it.
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on 18 June 2003
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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on 11 December 2013
Received my copy today. It is clearly a photocopy of the real book!
Disgusting that this is available on here as a real copy. I am returning for a full refund.
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on 7 February 1999
I did the D.C. training course, which is based on this and Dale's other books. As well as reading this book, I also have it on tape. The whole thing seems quite charming (pleasantly dated) and straight forward. Although I did not expect it, this book changed my life...for the better. My boss thought I had changed beyond recognition with regard to my relationships with colleagues, and promoted me. Admittedly this came after a particularly difficult period in my life - but D.C. seemed to click everything back into place. It is easy to underestimate this book. It is a pleasant read, and entertaining. I suspect most people will learn something from it. Easily worth the price. Everybody should read this book.
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on 19 June 2010
It is a perfect book if you are really determined to win firends and influence people.
I had a bit of difficulties with people I was dealing with at work. Just applied few rules and things have changed up side down. Now that they will do almost anything I want them to do!! I was really shocked and amazed by this.
It is unbelivable that people's mentality and way of behaviour are same as it was when this book was written.
I would recommend that everyone should read this book. If that happens this world would be a better and a beautiful place to live.
The price of the book does not do justice to the value of the book. The book worth more than that.
This is a life changing book. So dont wait read it today....dont wait untill tomorrow.........
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on 12 June 2012
I bought this book because somebody once told me that it's a must have for anybody 'going out into the the world'. Admittedly, I bought the book about 17 years too late,- having already 'gone out into the world' 17 years earlier, - but I still assumed it would be useful. Here's the thing -it's all hype. The crux of the book can actually be pinned down in 3 bulletpoints. 1) Be nice to people, treat them as you yourself wish to be treated 2) be genuinely interested in others, - learn names/faces/details .......3) Don't speak badly or negatively of others. That's it..
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