How to Win Friends and Influence People: Book Review by Asha Seth

Author: Dale Carnegie| Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help | Pages: 288

The Blurb:

Dale Carnegie’s first book is a timeless bestseller, packed with rock-solid advice that has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. As relevant as ever before, Dale Carnegie’s principles endure, and will help you achieve your maximum potential in the complex and competitive modern age.

Learn the six ways to make people like you, the twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, and the nine ways to change people without arousing resentment.

Image Credit: Goodreads
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The Review:

I read this book years ago, but recently a friend enquired after it and I realised I hadn’t shared the review here.

Warren Buffet had shared in one of his interviews how this book had worked wonders for him, and he had appreciated the author, at great length. What’s more is that non-fiction fans were swarming bookshops and flooding the internet with raving reviews on how this book had changed lives for them, and whoever they met.

I thought to myself, even though I am not a non-fiction reader, it couldn’t hurt to try. But all this was only after a colleague had recommended I read this book.

My job, then, required me to converse with directors and senior-most managers from the corporate giants across the globe which I must confess, tends to get unnerving, at times. I mean, okay, it is one thing to manage to get two minutes out of their precious time for yourself and an altogether different thing to make them listen to you. That’s when C mentioned to me that I should read this book.

This was my first Dale Carnegie book and I must admit, it is one power-packed marvel at less than 300 pages. Sadly, it took close to 2 weeks to finish this book; I was reading an e-book and e-books really do slow down my pace of reading.


The author emphasizes how effective conversation is essential in professional and personal life. And the most important driving factor is selfless-interaction. Being kind and nice is the key to successful interaction and with exemplary instances does Dale elaborate them.

It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.

Now, the language is simple, and relievingly, less dreary, unlike some other non-fiction books. Also, it does not harp on a particular philosophy or dogma, nor does it feel preachy about patterns or fashions that make life seem more meaningful. That said, the book can really be condensed into 2 sentences,

  1. Treat everyone with selfless dignity
  2. Be good at listening, make people feel they’re important

Trust me, the book really boils down to this alone. And while most of the content made sense, it felt less competent to gain any ground when you are looking at making better professional relationships. Perhaps, friendships in social circles, but that’s about it.


It is not meant for a particular age or group of people but has got something for everyone. Now it totally depends what is it that you are looking for.

If you happen to read ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People ’ or have already read it, do share your thoughts below.