November marked Dale Carnegie’s birthday (November 21, 1888) and also the anniversary of his death (November 1, 1955). While recently browsing the bookstore, I saw Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People alongside another familiar book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey’s 1989 bestseller. I have read both books; while both books have much to offer, I hold one book in much higher regard than the other (I bet you can guess which one from this post’s title!).
Covey billed his book as a next generation self-improvement book above and beyond Dale Carnegie (in fact, Covey’s 7 Habits includes an irksome “Goodbye, Dale Carnegie” quote of critical praise for Covey at Carnegie’s expense). And yet, Dale Carnegie’s venerable 1937 book has actually endured much better than 7 Habits over the last twenty years, thanks to Carnegie’s timeless, highly personable advice, wrapped in one of the first and best conversational writing books ever written.