Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Dale Carnegie and Not Leaving Well Enough Alone
Classic Advice: Please, Leave Well Enough Alone. (The New York Times, 10/5/2011)
Excerpt: Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which turns 75 this year, has sold more than 30 million copies and continues to be a best seller. The book, a paean to integrity, good humor and warmth in the name of amicable capitalism, is as wholesome as a Norman Rockwell painting. It exists alongside Dr. Spock’s child-rearing guide, Strunk and White’s volume on literary style and Fannie Farmer’s cookbook as a classic expression of the American impulse toward self-improvement and reinvention. Testimonials to its effectiveness abound. It’s said that the only diploma that hangs in Warren Buffett’s office is his certificate from Dale Carnegie Training.
Not leaving well enough alone.
Thumbnail print review: The devastation, in terms of Carnegie’s original charm, is nearly complete. Were Carnegie alive to read this grievous book, he would clutch his chest like Redd Foxx in “Sanford and Son,” smile wanly for a few minutes (he didn’t like to make others feel bad), then keel over into his cornflakes.