03 March, 2021

The Irresistible Rise Of The How To

A rehashing of top CEO profiles leads up to the pieces de resistance: inspiring quotes

Jitender Gupta
The Irresistible Rise Of The How To

In 1936 Dale Carnegie wrote How To Win Friends and Influence People. And with that he started an entire industry. What began as a succession of how-to books on various matters has now proliferated into videos, training programmes, workshops, portals, apps and even whole companies devoted to the subject. But more than just creating the industry, Carnegie also gave it its name—‘How To’—which David Ogi­lvy, that shrewd manipulator of people, called one of the most powerful phrases in the language.

The fact is that because how-to books push such a fundamental emotional button in us, something suggests that perhaps they have actually been around a lot earlier than Dale Carnegie, although exactly how much earlier is a matter of debate. Was the first how-to book Samuel Smiles’s Self-Help, published in 1846? Or is the genre even older? As we go back into history, we find several examples that appear to fit the bill. One could even argue, for example, that the oldest how-to book is the Bible itself: its subtitle might so easily...

In this article:

More from Anvar Alikhan

Latest Magazine

March 08, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section