For the life of me I can't explain why How to Win Friends and Influence People wasn't required reading at some point in my education (and why The Scarlet Letter was). This is one of those books that gets mentioned often without having been read - a book that the other guy should read. However, it's a book that deserves to be found on the Mount Rushmore of American literature. (*Opinion Alert* The other three titles on Mount Rushmore would be The Grapes of Wrath, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest).
Over my grandfather's desk is a small, ecletic collection of books - the mainstay being Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends. Through the years I saw small changes to the selection. I read all of my grandfather's Zane Grey novels, leafed through some hardbacks he has about electricity, and read Huckleberry Finn's story until the book fell apart. But I never read How to Win Friends until I realized that I had very few of those. I can go on and on about the many merits of this book, but I won't. I'll let it speak for itself:
How to Win Friends and Influence People left a change in me that I can clearly trace from the day I read it until now. It's not a book to read and put away. Instead, work through a chapter a day and consider how it can be applied to today's digital world. Few books - fiction or non-fiction - can change your life as radically and easily as this one. I trust you'll see why I consider this to be one that belongs on the Mount Rushmore of American literature. And now that the post is ending you can send me hate mail about my other Rushmore selections down in the comments box.