Why I Am Re-reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People is a "how-to guide" for those interested in becoming a good person. My father paid me to read it when I was a teenager, and I've promised to re-read it every few years, but I've never studied Carnegie's wisdom as an adult. I was inspired to study Carnegie seriously by a recent blog post by the FEE's Jeffrey Tucker, who noted his reluctance to reading How to Win Friends and Influence People:

"Everything I thought the book (How to Win Friends..) about turned out to be wrong. This is not about manipulating others. It is about training yourself to be a good person toward others and thereby feel a greater degree of happiness in your own life. What makes the book different is that it starts with a premise: a happy life is about living in harmony and mutual benefit with others.

This book is a logic manual for social engagement, the success or failure of which turns out to profoundly affect your personal happiness."

As a teenager I judged How to Win Friends and Influence People to be the shallow talk of of a "salesman" who was self-centered, vain, and greedy. I realize now that Dale Carnegie's advice is none of these things--I was shallow, not Carnegie. 

Carnegie states in simple terms the principles and practices of being a good person. As a precocious, young 43-year old I'm compelled to admit there's nothing in this book I didn't already know, but I also have to admit that there's a great chasm between what I know about good behavior and how I actually behave. 

Dale Carnegie's guide is helping close that divide.

Adam Smith's Surprising Guide to Happiness

"It's kind of shocking to realize the person known as the father of modern economics, Adam Smith, didn't think the pursuit of wealth was a very good idea," says economist Russ Roberts. "He thought it was corrosive, thought it was bad for you, thought ambition was bad for you, thought the pursuit of fame would destroy your character and your happiness, your serenity, your tranquility."

How 3-D-Printed Prosthetic Hands Are Changing These Kids’ Lives

Traditional prosthetics can cost thousands of dollars and need to be replaced as children grow. A group of volunteers is using open-source technology and 3-D printers to provide free prosthetic hands for children and adults who need them. 

Women's Business Leadership Conference Survey

To all students of Mr. Jackson's Spring 2017 classes:

All students are required to complete the following survey.  Please take your time and craft your responses with care and precision. The responses of attendees and non-attendees alike will be valued greatly.  Each students' responsiveness to the survey will be recorded, but your individual responses to the survey questions will be anonymous. Even though I believe students should be trusted to give honest feedback under their own name, I have been labelled naive for doing so. (I cannot imagine punishing a student for honest, thoughtful criticism or  rewarding a student for trumpeting praise; also, I don't give a darn about hearing the comments of anyone so weak and/or dishonorable they can express themselves honestly only under condition of anonymity.) However, given that the universe does not conform perfectly to my expectations and code of honor, I have structured the survey such that your responses will remain anonymous. 

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful and considered responses.

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John Taylor Gatto - The Purpose Of Schooling

John Taylor Gatto (born December 15, 1935) is a retired American school teacher with nearly 30 years experience in the classroom, and author of several books on education. He is an activist critical of compulsory schooling, of the perceived divide between the teen years and adulthood, and of what he characterizes as the hegemonic nature of discourse on education and the education professions.

How to Get the Most Out of Studying

How to Get the Most Out of Studying: Part 1 of 5, "Beliefs That Make You Fail... Or Succeed"

How to Get the Most Out of Studying: Part 2 of 5, "What Students Should Know About How People Learn"

How to Get the Most Out of Studying: Part 3 of 5, "Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning"

How to Get the Most Out of Studying: Part 4 of 5, "Putting Principles for Learning into Practice"

6 Women Who Should Be On The $20 Bill

Our profs’ picks for the best woman to go on the $20 bill

CASSIE WHALEN

MARCH 29, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month and the fight to get a woman on the $20 bill, we reached out to Learn Liberty professors for suggestions on great women whose achievements should earn them a place on US currency. So, in no particular order, here are five worthy women who should be on twenties:

Anne Hutchinson

Submitted by Prof. Sarah Skwire, Anne Hutchinson was an active religious leader and proponent of religious freedom in the American colonies.

As Prof. Skwire wrote:

I’d vote for putting Anne Hutchinson on the $20. Her home bible studies, her active preaching, and her theological disputes with established ministers put her into opposition to the Puritan leadership in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was convicted of heresy and of being an instrument of the devil, and she was banished from the colony.

After her banishment, she, her family, and her followers moved to the more religiously tolerant colony of Rhode Island.

That statue of her in front of the State House in Boston has a plaque that reads:

IN MEMORY OF

ANNE MARBURY HUTCHINSON

BAPTIZED AT ALFORD

LINCOLNSHIRE ENGLAND

20 JULY 1595 [sic]

KILLED BY THE INDIANS

AT EAST CHESTER NEW YORK 1643

COURAGEOUS EXPONENT

OF CIVIL LIBERTY

AND RELIGIOUS TOLERATION

A rebel, an annoyer of government officials, a fan of civil liberty, an agitator for religious freedom.… I can’t think of a better person to put on a bill.

Jeannette Rankin

Suggested by both Dr. Phil Magness and Prof. Aeon Skoble, Jeannette Rankin was a relentless antiwar activist and the first woman member of Congress.

Dr. Magness wrote,

She was the first female elected to Congress, winning her seat almost four years before the extension of womens’ suffrage at the national level (Montana extended the vote to women before the federal government). Rankin’s most famous political cause was her steadfast dedication to pacifism. Rankin voted against the United States’ entry into both world wars, and effectively gave up her seat in Congress twice as the price of opposing patriotic war fervor. The first time resulted in her being redistricted out of her seat in 1918. After returning to politics in 1940, she similarly opposed American entry into World War II on the grounds that it would precipitate a draft and therefore forcibly commit people to fight in a war against their will. Rankin remained a harsh critic of the draft for the remainder of her life. She remained an anti-draft activist into her 90s and organized a march against Lyndon Johnson’s policies during the Vietnam War.

Rankin’s dedication to peace and individual rights would make her a wonderful candidate for the $20 bill.

Sally Ride

Suggested by Prof. Aeon Skoble, Sally Ride was the first American woman to go to outer space. After her career at NASA, she went on to become a physics professor. She also co-wrote several books on space geared towards children with the goal of encouraging them to study science. In 2001, she co-founded Sally Ride Science, which encourages students, especially girls and minority students, to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects.

Dr. Sally Ride’s historic journeys to space and dedication to science education make her a great woman to feature on US twenties.

Mercy Otis Warren

Suggested by Prof. Aeon Skoble, Mercy Otis Warren wrote criticisms of royal authority during the American Revolution. She wrote pamphlets, poems, and plays in support of colonists’ rights, and after the war she was a strong anti-Federalist.

With her outspoken advocacy of colonists’ rights and skeptical attitude towards centralized government at the time of the American Revolution, Mercy Otis Warren would fit in well among the founding fathers currently featured on US bills.

Harriet Tubman

As part of the Women On 20s campaign, over 600,000 people cast votes on women to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, and Harriet Tubman was the winner. The famed abolitionist and “conductor” of the Underground Railroad helped guide over 300 slaves to freedom. She was also a suffragist, speaking and promoting votes for women.

In an article entitled “Let Tubman on the Twenty”, Prof. Sarah Skwire wrote:

Her work, and the work of countless named and unnamed others like her, assured that it is no longer possible legally to exchange a stack of twenty dollar bills for the body and the life and the future of another human being. Her work, and their work, means that the American idea of what constitutes “property” no longer includes other humans.

It’s not clear when or if we’ll see a woman on the US $20 bill, but there’s no shortage of worthy women whose accomplishments warrant a place of honor on our currency.

Cassie Whalen

Cassie Whalen is a Writer and Email Coordinator for the Institute for Humane Studies. An alumna of IHS Summer Seminars, the Koch Internship Program, and the Koch Fellowship Program, she graduated… read more