I went into this book with high expectations, as several people have said how much it helped them socially. I can't yet say whether it lived up to its reviews.
I think the book had a lot of good ideas. I expect I will try to use some of them, and actually already have. I especially liked the section on arguing (or not), and think national debates (not to mention local) might go a lot better if people applied the principles from this book.
It did seem to have its faults though. For one thing, it seemed kind of dated... I realize it was written in the 1930s, but it seems like human nature shouldn't have changed much since then, yet it feels like it has. For example, it's hard to imagine an owner of a large company giving you lots of his time and choosing your product over your competitors' just because you commented on something of interest to him (something that happens in about 25% of the book's examples). I recognize that this might be my limited experience though.
Also, it's pretty clear that this book is intended to help people with their business relations, rather than close personal relationships and such, though there are some points that apply to the latter. But in most of the examples, someone gets another to like them and secures a business deal or something out of it.
Though Mr. Carnegie stresses that sincerity is essential for his principles to work, it's hard, with all the examples ending in someone making out well business-wise, to keep that in mind, rather than thinking, "Okay, I just have to say what people want to hear; flatter them, pretend I'm interested in their interests, and they'll be eager to help me and do what I ask!" That's just a matter of how it's written though, I guess.
I will end by saying, again, that there are good points to be distilled out of the book, but it's not a complete and perfect guide to social interaction.
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