I think that this is the original book of its kind. Maybe not original, but the first of its kind to have the success that it has had. That is the reason I read it and I must say that it sounded like every piece of advice ever given to me by my father and grandfather. The style described in the book is essentially boiled down to the adage “You catch more flies with honey.” That is EXACTLY my own personal style for interaction. In fact, this book almost perfectly describes how I try to navigate people on a daily basis. Another specific example is when Carnegie describes the scenario in which he wants something from someone and rather than boisterously demanding it, as is common in my line of work, he suggests talking to the person, asking them about themselves, and being generally (and genuinely) curious about that person. The key to this though, since it is your objective to get what you want, is that you must be sincere. I’ve personally described that exact scenario to my students and subordinates for years. I explain the idea that it is ok to do something nice for other purposes as long as the nice thing is done sincerely. If it is not, well, then you are probably a real jerk.
One thing that threw me WAY off while reading this was some of the references and anecdotes used. This book was written in the 1930s and Dale Carnegie died in the late 1950s, ’58 specifically I think. In spite of that, there is a reference to Stevie Wonder in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I’m not sure how that happened but it seems really weird that a publisher would add a portion without mentioning it. It threw me off.