How to Win Friends and Influence People: Chapter 0a – Why was this book written?

Carnegie – 00a – Intro

Carnegie titles this pre-pre-amble as “How this book was written and why?” He answers the question, introduces the writing style and begins to educate the reader with that style. Carnegie is persuading in writing from this first page.

His message, which can feel both too verbose, and then suddenly just right is simple:

  • This skill is important.
  • Nobody else has covered this topic.
  • This book covers the topic, and you’re going to find it very valuable.
  • The style in which he says these 3 points is used throughout – personal examples, famous examples, positive results, negative results.

Top Quote

“The sole purpose of this book is to help you discover, develop and profit by those dormant and unused assets.”

But there are a lot of good quotes.

Page by Page Highlights


“But gradually, as the seasons passed, I realized that as sorely as these adults needed training in effective speaking, they needed still more training in the fine art of getting along with people in everyday business and social contacts.”


“In the heyday of his activity, John D. Rockefeller said that “the ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability,” said John D., “than for any other under the sun.””


“But the book they need has never been written.”

“Since no such book existed, I have tried to write one for use in my own courses.”


“It was short in the beginning, but it soon expanded to a lecture that consumed one hour and thirty minutes.”


“It grew and developed out of that laboratory, out of the experiences of thousands of adults.”

“The rules we have set down here are not mere theories or guesswork. They work like magic.”

“This employer gained more profit; more leisure and—what is infinitely more important—he found far more happiness in his business and in his home.”


“His letter, written from a transatlantic steamer, telling about the application of these principles, rose almost to a religious fervor.”


“The sole purpose of this book is to help you discover, develop and profit by those dormant and unused assets.”


“Education,” said Dr. John G. Hibben, former president of Princeton University, “is the ability to meet life’s situations.”

Here Carnegie Baits the reader saying that he will love the book in the 1st 3 chapters – he is getting the reader to try it out.

For “the great aim of education,” said Herbert Spencer, “is not knowledge but action.”

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