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Self Help Paperback – September 20, 2006


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Echo Library (September 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1406805858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1406805857
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,163,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Who better to take inspirational advice from than a man named Smiles? But unlike the feel-good cheerleading that the term "self-help" says to us today, to Smiles it might well have been synonymous with "hard work." For this 1859 volume is dedicated to "stimulat[ing] youths to apply themselves diligently to right pursuits,--sparing neither labour, pains, nor self-denial in prosecuting them--and to rely upon their own efforts in life."

Though the author himself admits his lessons are "old-fashioned but wholesome," he nevertheless delivers stern but well-intentioned lectures on such commonsense concepts as the importance of learning from failure, how work is the best teacher, and the value of thrift, gentility, and honesty, all peppered with examples of such noble industry from the lives of writers, scientists, artists, inventors, educators, philanthropists, missionaries, and--gulp!--martyrs. It's as if all paternal wisdom had been reduced to a single book. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

Everyone I know would benefit from reading this fine book.
Kerstin Spremulli
A long read but a great book gives you different perspectives on different things.
Dan Parden
He provides an incredible amount of examples to support his points.
TW

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Tsuyoshi on September 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
The following review is based on the Oxford World's Classics edition, edited bby Peter W. Sinnema.

'Self-Help' was published in 1859 in England, and became the instant bestseller, with 20,000 copied sold within the year after publication, making Samuel Smiles a household name. It is hard to categorize this book into any genre, but basically 'Self-Help' is a statement on the virtues of hard working, or in Smiles's favorite word, 'perseverance,' amply illustrated by many examples of biographical records collected by Smiles.

The chapter names would show the contents -- 'Self-Help: National and Individual'; 'Leaders of Industry: Inventors and Producers'; 'Three Great Potters'; 'Application and Perseverance'; 'Helps and Opportunities'; 'Workers in Art'; 'Industry and the Peerage'; 'Energy and Courage'; 'Men on Business'; 'Money: It's Use and Abuse'; 'Self-Culture: Facilities and Difficulties'; 'Example: Models'; 'Character: The True Gentleman.'

Each chapter tells you the examples of hard work and its eventual triumph, and with many biographical episodes, Smiles argues the importance of being earnest, no matter where the supposed readers belong to the social ladder of England. For example, in the Chapter 'Three Great Potters' you can see the life of three potters -- Palissy, Bottgher, and Wedgwood -- and how they. in spite of the numerous obstacles rushing to them, succeeded in their art, with which their names were recorded in the history.

Like this, Smiles' book has a pattern -- it states its point first, championing the virtue of hard work, then he supports his statement with mini-biographies about many people, which include that of mechanics, philanthropists, scientist, musicians, soldiers, politicians, merchants, and many others.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Darrell on November 14, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
By Darrell Stoddard, darrellstoddard@gmail.com

Because of this book the Japanese learned to be servants instead of masters. "Self Help" Totally Changed History of Japan. STRANGE BUT TRUE! The now almost unknown book in English 'Self Help' published in England in 1859 and then translated into the Japanese language, dramatically changed the history of Japan (and even the history of the world) as much as 'Mein Kompf' changed Germany or the "Communist Manifesto' changed the history of Russia or China.

How could this be? Self help was a series of lectures given by a physician named Samuel Smiles to a group of boys in England who came out of the mines, mills, and factories that wanted an education. They met together in an abandoned cholera hospital to try and educate each other. Those who knew a little taught those who knew less. They called themselves the 'mutual improvement youths'.

Smiles accepted an invitation to "talk to them a bit" and told them the stories of the men that gave England the Industrial Revolution. The lectures then became the book 'Self Help'. Smiles said the stories were "almost gospels" because they embodied the principle of service. The highest and best you could be was to to become a servant by inventing something for the betterment of mankind.

Admiral Perry opened the doors of the Japan in a steamship that the Japanese never knew existed. He then built for the Japanese to see, a model locomotive railroad with tracks. Then Perry installed and demonstrated a telegraph line. The Japanese saw technology they never knew existed and wanted to catch up with a world that was in the midst of an industrial revolution. Using as a guide to do this, they translated the book 'Self Help' into the Japanese language.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ralf Lippold on December 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have stepped over the title while reading "Why Toyota Became #1" and have got a German version from 1900. It has much insight in it that is still valid today and was a major part of Toyota's starting point to the journey where one in business is looking at.

Focus on your core strengths and eliminate waste, keep doing that constantly and you will be successful.

Easy to read and the stories are very much transferable to the present (even though some of them are a couple of hundreds of years old).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TW VINE VOICE on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
There are a litany of books available on personal development but few can lay claim to be one of the originals. The works of Sam Smiles are often attributed as the inspiration for many later works on the subject as well as plenty of successful individuals; and for good reason. Smiles is a very talented writer and proved to offer insights of a timeless quality.

Self Help provides a fantastic overview of the importance of developing yourself, not just for your own needs, but for the betterment of society. Smiles focuses on the core attributes such as attention, persistence, imagination, and patience. He also deals in depth with character, thrift, and humility. Although these topics have been handled countless times by many successful authors, few have done as much justice to them nor have many matched Smiles' ability to express why these attributes are so important.

Smiles manner of writing is eloquent and flowing. He provides an incredible amount of examples to support his points. Although he acknowledges the equal importance of studying those who failed as well as those who succeeded, he justifies a focus on the latter merely by matter of interest and intrigue. The book is an impressive collection of stories about those who lifted themselves from small beginnings to great successes using the principals outlined in the book.

Although there is no secret recipe for success, Smiles work is a testament to the importance of maintaining the right attitude in various areas to at least greatly increase the probability of success. Without question, if all you do is read this book to gain the some of the knowledge Smiles has to offer, you will be a better person for having read the book. Beyond that, the sky is the limit.
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