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Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son Paperback – July 12, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I think of the callow young man I was, and how I was ten years after that, and even later, when I was nearing the end of my career, I can see that the advice that comes out from this narrative is of the best.
I think that there are two critical skills that distinguish business leaders from their underlings: I'm not talking about general intelligence or powerful ability in math.
The key skills are a good communication ability, rapport with others, and a strong grounding in common sense, understanding other folks.
You have to be a good communicator, but most important of all, you have to suss out the other fellow, know what he wants and why he wants it, and act accordingly.
G W Lorimer would have made a wonderful negotiator, politician, diplomat even. This is what he focuses on. Every scene in this book is a set-piece where someone tries to take advantage of the man with the money - his competitors, his kids, his family, his peers. Lorimer sees them all off.
On a personal note, this book made such an impression on me in the 1970s that I kept alive the hope of reading it again. This I managed to do, in 2009.
You can't offer a better a testament than that. Read the book 40 years on and it's still relevant. I rest my case.
Published over 100 years ago, LETTERS OF A SELF-MADE MERCHANT TO HIS SON purports to be one-way correspondence from a nineteenth-century Chicago meat-packing tycoon to his son, who is being groomed to take a place in "the house" (meaning the firm). In actuality, the book was written by George Horace Lorimer (1869-1937), who was editor-in-chief of The Saturday Evening Post from 1899 until his death.
His fictional tycoon, John Graham, writes wise, serious, common-sense principles appropriate for anyone seeking to rise in a career. They're not stodgy or out of date; they can be translated into vital wisdom for any person today who has to deal with other people, in business or out of it.
But, along with that, I can't imagine a real meat-packer being so deliciously humorous.
The many proverbs about learning ("There are two parts of a college education - the part that you get in the schoolroom from the professors, and the part that you get outside of it from the boys. ... The first can only make you a scholar, while the second can make you a man"); about work ("It seems to me, on general principles, that a young man of twenty-two ... who hasn't got a dollar and has never earned one, can't be getting on somebody's payroll too quick. And in this connection it is only fair to tell you that I have instructed the cashier to discontinue your allowance after July 15. That gives you two weeks [not two months] for a vacation...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the content of the book might be nice, but the physical book is huge .... its like a text book form school. you won't be able to take it on an airplane ... Read morePublished 15 months ago by MKY168
got it for my boyfriend since he started getting into stocks, financing and etc... it's actually a fiction piece (did not know that lol! Read morePublished 21 months ago by Kami
This is one of my top business books. While the examples are dated, the advice is useful. Most modern business books irritate me by claiming to teach "new" techniques, yet... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Trevor J Jacobs
There are some interesting pieces of advice here, but unless you are interested in the historical context the subject matter is too focused on the reality of the day and not very... Read morePublished 23 months ago by A Red Head
Title says it all. Although I might say that I was a bit disappointed to find out that this was fiction...still though, amazing advice and certainly one to pass along.Published on April 25, 2014 by Samuel C. Pence
Book has been quoted by Warren Buffett in some of his annual shareholder letters, and it's no wonder, as the book reads very similarly to them. Read morePublished on March 7, 2014 by Stephen B Marshall Jr