How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published. Written by Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) and first published in 1936, it has sold over 30 million copies world-wide, and went on to be named #19 on Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential books in 2011.
Leon Shimkin of the publishing firm Simon & Schuster took one of the 14-week courses given by Carnegie in 1934. Shimkin persuaded Carnegie to let a stenographer take notes from the course to be revised for publication. The original book contained sections providing colorful anecdotes and insightful wisdom. It gave instruction in handling people, winning friends, bringing people to your way of thinking, being a great leader, and navigating home life successfully. Carnegie combined age-old truisms with the emerging field of psychology to present a handbook in human relations which was interesting and accessible. Emphasizing the use of other’s egotistical tendencies to one’s advantage, Carnegie maintained that success could be found by charm, appreciation, and personality. The book sold exceptionally well from the start, going through 17 editions in its first year.
In 1981, a new revised edition containing updated language and anecdotes was released. The revised edition reduced the number of sections from 6 to 4, eliminating sections on effective business letters and improving marital satisfaction.
In 2011, a 3rd edition was released, titled How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age. This edition was written by Dale Carnegie & Associates. It applies Carnegie’s prescription for relationship and business success to the digital age.
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