Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son Book Review

This book was definitely written for a male audience, in case the title wasn’t an indicator, and you can find it for free just about anywhere.

Aside from the examples given and the language used, you would be hard pressed to figure out this was written in the 1900s. Some of the advice given in this book were true gems and stark reminders that some wisdom is timeless.

Here were a few choice highlights of mine:

“I want to say right here that the easiest way in the world to make enemies is to hire friends.”

“And when a fellow whines that he’s being held down, the truth is, as a general thing, that his boss can’t hold him up.”

“It isn’t what a man knows, but what he thinks he knows that he brags about. Big talk means little knowledge.”

“Education will broaden a narrow mind, but there’s no known cure for a big head.”

Reading it felt like listening to my dad’s lessons to me growing up. While young, I only listened to them in passing and considered his advice from a bygone era. As I aged, I realize how valuable many of those lessons were and relevant to my own life.

That’s what reading the letters felt like most of the time. A dad telling his son, “You think you know what you’re talking about, but you don’t.” Sometimes this isn’t true, but for the most part, it takes most men until their middle ages before they figure out their dad was right.

Oh – if only youth wasn’t wasted on the young!

The book is worth a gander into if you’re willing to pull it apart for your personal use.