Perhaps The First Self Help Book
Review by The Mole
This book has been a massive success in so far as it has sold 15million copies since it's first publication in 1936. It's title alone is an enticement to pick it up - who does not want to make more friends and, perhaps, get more from the friendships they already have?
This version has been updated to reflect "the digital age". You might expect that this would cause a drastic reworking and almost obviate the original teaching, but in fact it highlights how, with the internet and other digital social connections, it is fact quicker and easier to destroy all goodwill and friendships than ever before. It stresses, though, that the same rules that applied in 1936, about face to face, letters and phone calls then apply equally apply today for all digital communications as well. In fact the same rules apply whichever form of communication you choose to use. It's not about how and when to use Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn but about how to deal with people. It includes examples of how not to achieve it (where things generally went spectacularly wrong) and how things have been done well. These examples are not from the original publication but are modern events where they exist and are relevant.
I picked this book up expecting all sorts of rules and actions but was very surprised to find that there is one underlying message - be positive and interested in what everyone has to say. Sounds easy? Well, maybe not. If you can be self critical and really want to achieve what the title says then you need to commit a lot of time and effort to read this book - not just once but as often as needed to reinforce your understanding of the many types of encounter you may find yourself in.
Another important fact is that this book works at the micro level (you and your wife, you and the barman, you and the neighbour, etc) as well as at the macro level (a managing director and his company of 10,000 employees). This book is about people and the reader and is a long term project to achieve, not just friends, but with friends comes contentment and happiness.
The Mole highly recommends this book.
Publisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - Non Fiction, Self help
Buy How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age from Amazon