Hot Best Seller

Letters From A Merchant To His Son: Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son Classics, Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son George Horace Lorimer Illustrated and Annotated

Availability: Ready to download

The correspondence between Old Gorgon Graham, a self-made millionaire in Chicago and his son who is entering the business. An American father gives timeless advice to his son on how to succeed in life.


Compare

The correspondence between Old Gorgon Graham, a self-made millionaire in Chicago and his son who is entering the business. An American father gives timeless advice to his son on how to succeed in life.

30 review for Letters From A Merchant To His Son: Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son Classics, Letters From A Self-Made Merchant To His Son George Horace Lorimer Illustrated and Annotated

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Holiday

    This book is the preserved correspondence between Old Gorgon Graham, a self-made millionaire in Chicago, and his son who is coming of age and entering the family business. The letters date back to the 1890s but feel like they could have been written in any era. They are surprisingly stoic. Honest. Genuine. Packed with good advice. Normally these types of books are unreadably boring and personal. My version has only Graham's letters and none from his son so there is only one voice, one perspectiv This book is the preserved correspondence between Old Gorgon Graham, a self-made millionaire in Chicago, and his son who is coming of age and entering the family business. The letters date back to the 1890s but feel like they could have been written in any era. They are surprisingly stoic. Honest. Genuine. Packed with good advice. Normally these types of books are unreadably boring and personal. My version has only Graham's letters and none from his son so there is only one voice, one perspective to follow. It gives the book a sense of narrative and flow that most books of letters lack (for which they suffer). One of my favorite parts is where Graham suggests that history should be taught backwards because most people never make it up to the present. I had a history teacher do this for one class in high school and it's still the only formal education I've had on some of those subjects. I've since had plenty of time to go back and get caught up with what happened in the few thousand years prior. The book is in the public domain - I've never even heard it mentioned outside of Joseph Epstein's Ambition (which is also good) - but is by far my favorite book of the year.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eric Napier

    Recommended reading for any male over 14. Excellent reading for 2 reasons: 1) the advice is very good 2) it is hilarious. "You can trust a woman's taste on everything except men; and it's mighty lucky that she slips up there or we'd pretty nigh all be bachelors." "You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." "With most people happiness is something that is always just a day off. But I have made it a rule never to put off being happy till to-mo Recommended reading for any male over 14. Excellent reading for 2 reasons: 1) the advice is very good 2) it is hilarious. "You can trust a woman's taste on everything except men; and it's mighty lucky that she slips up there or we'd pretty nigh all be bachelors." "You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." "With most people happiness is something that is always just a day off. But I have made it a rule never to put off being happy till to-morrow. Don't accept notes for happiness, because you'll find that when they're due they're never paid, but just renewed for another thirty days." If that's not gold I don't know what is. Also, it's old enough to find free PDFs all over the place. So download one and read it on your kindle.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sanford Chee

    I thought this was a real life correspondence between John Graham and his son "Piggy", and was curious what has happened to House of Graham & Company. If it was such good advice surely the firm would have prospered or was it a case of from shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations (or as the Chinese proverb goes 富不过三代). I then realised that this was a work of fiction by American journalist George Lorimer rather than a edited excerpts of correspondence. Written in 1901 and reflecting the I thought this was a real life correspondence between John Graham and his son "Piggy", and was curious what has happened to House of Graham & Company. If it was such good advice surely the firm would have prospered or was it a case of from shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations (or as the Chinese proverb goes 富不过三代). I then realised that this was a work of fiction by American journalist George Lorimer rather than a edited excerpts of correspondence. Written in 1901 and reflecting the verbose language of that time, the letters can be hard to read at times but ultimately delivers hard nosed and sound business advise. The blogpost Airows condensed 28 of their favourite quotes from this book: http://airows.com/28-life-lessons-19t... It's a short book (76 pg), so could be worth reading to have a laugh at some of the funny stories and absorb the fanatical business obsession of the workaholic head of Graham & Co. Book can be read for free here: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21959/...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sujoy Chaudhary

    Some very powerful notes, you rarely come across such first hand notes about basics of building a business. However, most of the stories the writer came up with seemed just eloquent ways to deny his son from doing what he wanted.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rjb

    Every page contains at least one nugget of gold wrapped in old-world (and sometimes sexist), down-to-earth charm. Here are just a few: - Education is everywhere, free for the taking. Haul away every drop you can for everything else is screwed down tight. - The core of anything must be sound. If the core of a pig is no good, no amount of seasoning will fix it. - Sound conscience over gap-less knowledge. - "Education can make you a scholar, while [time with the boys] can make you a man." - Knowing is o Every page contains at least one nugget of gold wrapped in old-world (and sometimes sexist), down-to-earth charm. Here are just a few: - Education is everywhere, free for the taking. Haul away every drop you can for everything else is screwed down tight. - The core of anything must be sound. If the core of a pig is no good, no amount of seasoning will fix it. - Sound conscience over gap-less knowledge. - "Education can make you a scholar, while [time with the boys] can make you a man." - Knowing is one thing. Knowing how to use knowledge is another. - Speaking of young men: "Some of them think that recklessness with money brands them as good fellows, and that carefulness is meanness." - Learn the pain of making a dollar. The meanest of men are those who are generous with money, but never had to suffer for it. - Learning from books or life. Theory vs practice. Both are narrow. Know enough practice to test theories to shove ahead. - Understand the job. Master it. Then get lazy and find ways to make yourself obsolete through systems of automation. - "It's not what a man does during working hours, but after them, that breaks down his health. A fellow and his business should be bosom friends in the office and sworn enemies out of it." - The three rules of business conversation are: 1. Have something to say 2. Say it 3. Stop talking - "Beginning before you know what you want to say and keeping on after you have said it lands a merchant in a lawsuit or the poorhouse, and the first is a shortcut to the second." - "Business is like oil - it won't mix with anything but business." - No matter what, you'll have a boss of some sort over you. Others care what you boss thinks of you, rather than what you think of your boss. - If a man comes looking for a job and starts by telling you how mean their previous employer was, how poor management was, he will think the same of you. -"As you begin to meet the men who have done something that makes them worth meeting you will find that there are no 'keep of the grass' or 'beware of the dog' signs around their premises, and that they don't motion to the orchestra to play slow music while they talk." - The easiest way to make enemies is to hire friends. - Some people have "a heart like a stock-ticker - it doesn't beat over anything except money." - On irresponsibly spending money: "there's no fool like a young fool, because in the nature of things he's got a long time to live." - On marriage: "While a young fellow will consult his father about buying a horse, he's cock-sure of himself when it comes to picking a wife. Marriages may be made in heaven, but most engagements are made in the back parlor with the gas so low that a fellow doesn't really get a square look at what he's taking. While a man doesn't see much of a girl's family when he's courting, he's apt to see a good deal of it when he's housekeeping." - Unless it's hard to believe, some people won't believe it's worth believing. - On thinking oneself important, especially in business affairs: "Repartee makes reading lively, but business dull." - People will sell things like they're pork, But in business you have to ignore the joke and see things for what they are. If a man is overselling a dog, giving you a story why he must sell it and why it's such a good deal, you know that you must look at the thing being sold for what it is. - On selling and the right customer: "Real buyers ain't interested in much besides your goods and your prices. Never run down your competitor's brand to then, and never let them run down yours. Don't get on your knees for business, but don't hold your nose so high in the air that an order can travel under it without you seeing it. You'll meet a good many people in the road that you won't like, but the house needs their business." - Adjust for your market. Sell clothes in the cities where people have plenty. Pork to the people in the country where they keep hogs. - On effort: "If there's one piece of knowledge that is if less use to a fellow knowing when he's beat, it's knowing when he's done just enough work to keep from being fired." - "If there's anything worse than knowing too little, it's knowing too much. Education will broaden a narrow mind, but there's no cure for a big head. The best you can hope is that it will swell up and burst; and then, of course, there's nothing left." - There are two unpardonable sins: success and failure. Those who fail will question those who succeed, and those who succeed will look down upon those who fail. - What you bring to a job says more and does more for you than anything. Enthusiasm makes work easy. - One may envy their boss because their job looks easy. But this is far from the case. "He's like the fellow on the right-rope - there's plenty of scenery under him and lots of room around him, but he's got to keep his feet on the wire all the time and gravel straight ahead." - Hire slow. Fire fast. Finding the right employees worth the extra time for a bad employee "is like a splinter in the thumb - a center of soreness." - "Life isn't a spurt, but a long, steady climb. You can't run up a hill without stopping to sit down. Some men do a days work and then spend six lolling around admiring it." - "I've heard a good deal in my time about the foolishness of hens, but when it comes to right-down, plum foolishness, give me a rooster, every time. He's always strutting and stretching and crowing and bragging about things in which he had nothing to do. When the sun rises, you'd think that he was making all the light, instead of all the noise. But when you hear from a hen, she's laid an egg, and she doesn't make a great deal of noise about it, either." - "Some fellows propose to a girl before they know whether her front and her back hair match, and then holler that they're stuck when they find she's got a cork leg and a glass eye as well." "But the really valuable thing to know is how she approaches ham and eggs at seven A.M., and whether she rings he complexion with her to the breakfast table." - "Of course, when you're patting and petting and feeding a woman she's going to purr, but there's nothing like stirring her up a little now and then to see if she spits fire and heaves things when she's mad." - Never put off happiness.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sandeep

    This is book is excellent. I found it for free on the Project Gutenberg website and I'm glad I downloaded it. John Graham or "Old Gorgon Graham" was a self-made millionaire merchant for the House of Graham & Company in Chicago and this book contains letters he wrote to his son Pierrepont at certain stages of his son's life (college life, work life, marriage). The letters were primarily written to Pierrepont as he was entering his father's business. The letters are from 1890 and I'm surprised how This is book is excellent. I found it for free on the Project Gutenberg website and I'm glad I downloaded it. John Graham or "Old Gorgon Graham" was a self-made millionaire merchant for the House of Graham & Company in Chicago and this book contains letters he wrote to his son Pierrepont at certain stages of his son's life (college life, work life, marriage). The letters were primarily written to Pierrepont as he was entering his father's business. The letters are from 1890 and I'm surprised how relevant Graham's words are today. He gives his son such sound advice that I wish my father gave me. I'm going take notes on this book to reflect on Graham's words and see where I can apply it. Also the metaphors Graham uses further emphasizes the key points in his letters that he wanted to son to fully understand and never forget. I highly recommend this book to a young man just starting out his college life or his own business or even considering marriage. Graham's advice is honest, genuine, and sound advice to think about in your day to day life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jason Furlong

    Simple but timeless advice for any person young or old This is a series of letters from a father writing to his son as he is going through college and needs a bit of good, stern advice to get him through the transition of youth and into adulthood. While it was written over 100 years ago it is just as apt today as it was then for anyone in general.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ben Nesvig

    Some of the best advice I've found in any book. And it's the funniest book I've read this year. Also written in 1903 and free. Some of the best advice I've found in any book. And it's the funniest book I've read this year. Also written in 1903 and free.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Vinoth Srinivasan

    Life simply penned into words...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dominika Klekner

    Funny, and filled with solid knowledge about life, work, relationships and being an adult.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simon Howard

    First published in 1902 and written by Kentucky journalist George Horace Lorimer, this is a series of fictional letters from the 'self-made' owner of a meat-packing business (John Graham) to his son (Pierrepont). The letters, which start at the point that Pierrepont goes off to university, dispense fatherly advice as his studies and (later) career in the family firm steadily progress. This is only 76 pages long, yet is packed with quotable lines that could have been lifted from any number of self First published in 1902 and written by Kentucky journalist George Horace Lorimer, this is a series of fictional letters from the 'self-made' owner of a meat-packing business (John Graham) to his son (Pierrepont). The letters, which start at the point that Pierrepont goes off to university, dispense fatherly advice as his studies and (later) career in the family firm steadily progress. This is only 76 pages long, yet is packed with quotable lines that could have been lifted from any number of self-help books written in 2018, let alone 1902. “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.” “The easiest way in the world to make enemies is to hire friends.” “I remember reading once that some fellows use language to conceal thought; but it's been my experience that a good many more use it instead of thought.” “What was the use of being a nob if a fellow wasn’t the nobbiest sort of a nob?” The gender politics is very uncomfortably 1902 - "I like a woman’s ways too much at home to care very much for them at the office. Instead of hiring women, I try to hire their husbands." - as is the casual racism - "Business is a good deal like a nigger’s wool—it doesn’t look very deep, but there are a heap of kinks and curves in it." - but otherwise, it's astonishing how little good advice has changed in the last century. I really enjoyed this, and suspect I'll return to it again in future.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rahil

    A thoroughly entertaining read with a lot of life lessons. Reading these letters makes me feel like I am sitting around the fire-side with my grandfather and his sharing his life-lessons which are deeply insightful in some cases and politically inappropriate in other cases. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants this fatherly advice.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anshul Agrawal

    Review: Timeless wisdom. A very good read. Extracts- Does a College education pay? You bet it pays. Anything that trains a boy to think and to think quick pays; anything that teaches a boy to get the answer before the other fellow gets through biting the pencil, pays. It isn’t so much knowing a whole lot, as knowing a little and how to use it that counts. I can’t hand out any ready-made success to you. It would do you no good, and it would do the house harm. There is plenty of room at the top here, b Review: Timeless wisdom. A very good read. Extracts- Does a College education pay? You bet it pays. Anything that trains a boy to think and to think quick pays; anything that teaches a boy to get the answer before the other fellow gets through biting the pencil, pays. It isn’t so much knowing a whole lot, as knowing a little and how to use it that counts. I can’t hand out any ready-made success to you. It would do you no good, and it would do the house harm. There is plenty of room at the top here, but there is no elevator in the building. Starting, as you do, with a good education, you should be able to climb quicker than the fellow who hasn’t got it; but there’s going to be a time when you begin at the factory when you won’t be able to lick stamps so fast as the other boys at the desk. Yet the man who hasn’t licked stamps isn’t fit to write letters. Naturally, that is the time when knowing whether the pie comes before the ice-cream, and how to run an automobile isn’t going to be of any real use to you. If your ambition runs to hunching up all week over a desk, to earn eight dollars to blow on a few rounds of drinks for the boys on Saturday night, there is no objection to your gratifying it; for I will know that the Lord didn’t intend you to be your own boss. I’ve always made it a rule to buy brains, and I’ve learned now that the better trained they are the faster they find reasons for getting their salaries raised. The fellow who hasn’t had the training may be just as smart, but he’s apt to paw the air when he’s reaching for ideas. It’s not what a man does during working-hours, but after them, that breaks down his health. A fellow and his business should be bosom friends in the office and sworn enemies out of it. A clear mind is one that is swept clean of business at six o’clock every night and isn’t opened up for it again until after the shutters are taken down next morning. You will always find it a safe rule to take a thing just as quick as it is offered— especially a job. It is never easy to get one except when you don’t want it; but when you have to get work, and go after it with a gun, you’ll find it as shy as an old crow that every farmer in the county has had a shot at. There is one excuse for every mistake a man can make, but only one. When a fellow makes the same mistake twice he’s got to throw up both hands and own up to carelessness or cussedness. A business man’s conversation should be regulated by fewer and simpler rules than any other function of the human animal. They are: - Have something to say. - Say it. - Stop talking. You’ve got to preach short sermons to catch sinners; and deacons won’t believe they need long ones themselves. Give fools the first and women the last word. The meat’s always in the middle of the sandwich. Of course, a little butter on either side of it doesn’t do any harm if it’s intended for a man who likes butter. A man’s got to keep company a long time, and come early and stay late and sit close, before he can get a girl or a job worth having. There’s nothing comes without calling in this world, and after you’ve called you’ve generally got to go and fetch it yourself. Boys are constantly writing me for advice about how to succeed, and when I send them my receipt they say that I am dealing out commonplace generalities. Of course I am, but that’s what the receipt calls for, and if a boy will take these commonplace generalities and knead them into his job, the mixture’ll be cake. Criticism can properly come only from above, and whenever you discover that your boss is no good you may rest easy that the man who pays his salary shares your secret. Remember that when you’re in the right you can afford to keep your temper, and that when you’re in the wrong you can’t afford to lose it. - He reckoned that the only really safe way to approach a mule was to drop on it from a balloon. - For he’s one of those men that never show any real enthusiasm except when they’re cussing. Loyalty- It is the one commodity that hasn’t any market value, and it’s the one that you can’t pay too much for.You can trust any number of men with your money, but mighty few with your reputation. Superiority makes every man feel its equal. It is courtesy without condescension; affability without familiarity; self-sufficiency without selfishness; simplicity without snide. I have always found that, whenever I thought a heap of anything I owned, there was nothing like getting the other fellow’s views expressed in figures; and the other fellow is usually a pessimist when he’s buying. The only way to show a fellow that he’s chosen the wrong business is to let him try it. If it really is the wrong thing you won’t have to argue with him to quit, The easiest way in the world to make enemies is to hire friends. While a man doesn’t see much of a girl’s family when he’s courting, he’s apt to see a good deal of it when he’s housekeeping; and while he doesn’t marry his wife’s father, there’s nothing in the marriage vow to prevent the old man from borrowing money of him, Never marry a poor girl who’s been raised like a rich one. She’s simply traded the virtues of the poor for the vices of the rich without going long on their good points. To marry for money or to marry without money is a crime. There’s no real objection to marrying a woman with a fortune, but there is to marrying a fortune with a woman You can trust a woman’s taste on everything except men; and it’s mighty lucky that she slips up there or we’d pretty nigh all be bachelors. I might add that you can’t trust a man’s taste on women, either, and that’s pretty lucky, too, because there are a good many old maids in the world as it is. Marrying the wrong girl is the one mistake that you’ve got to live with all your life. There’s nothing in the world sicker-looking than the grin of the man who’s trying to join in heartily when the laugh’s on him, and to pretend that he likes it. A real salesman is one-part talk and nine-parts judgment; and he uses the nine-parts of judgment to tell when to use the one-part of talk. Real buyers ain’t interested in much besides your goods and your prices. Never run down your competitor’s brand to them, and never let them run down yours. Don’t get on your knees for business, but don’t hold your nose so high in the air that an order can travel under it without your seeing it. You’ll meet a good many people on the road that you won’t like, but the house needs their business. That is why when a fellow comes to me for advice about moving to a new country, where there are more opportunities, I advise him—if he is built right—to go to an old city where there is more money. It looks to me as if you were trying only half as hard as you could, and in trying it’s the second half that brings results. The man who invests in more knowledge of the business than he has to have in order to hold his job has capital with which to buy a mortgage on a better one. It has been my experience that when a fellow has that half knowledge he finds it’s the other half which would really come in handy. So, when a man’s in the selling end of the business what he really needs to know is the manufacturing end; and when he’s in the factory he can’t know too much about the trade. A man who knows his own business thoroughly will find an opportunity sooner or later of reaching the most hardened cuss of a buyer on his route and of getting a share of his. I want to caution you right here against learning all there is to know about pork packing too quick. Business is a good deal like a nigger’s wool—it doesn’t look very deep, but there are a heap of kinks and curves in it. The great trouble with most young fellows is that they think they have learned all they need to know and have given the audience its money’s worth when they can keep the glass balls going, and so they balk at the kerosene lamps and the rest of the implements of light housekeeping. But there’s no real limit to the amount of extras a fellow with the right stuff in him will take on without losing his grin. There’s nothing that tells the truth to a woman like a mirror, or that lies harder to a man. Poverty never spoils a good man, but prosperity often does. It’s easy to stand hard times, because that’s the only thing you can do, but in good times the fool-killer has to do night work. Tact is the knack of keeping quiet at the right time; of being so agreeable yourself that no one can be disagreeable to you; of making inferiority feel like equality. A tactful man can pull the stinger from a bee without getting stung. Where you feel a man is not square you will be armed to meet him, but never on his own ground. Make him be honest with you if you can, but don’t let him make you dishonest with him. When you make a mistake, don’t make the second one—keeping it to yourself. Own up. The time to sort out rotten eggs is at the nest. The deeper you hide them in the case the longer they stay in circulation, and the worse impression they make when they finally come to the breakfast-table. And one lie breeds enough distrust to choke out the prettiest crop of confidence that a fellow ever cultivated. When business is good, that is the time to force it, because it will come easy; and when it is bad, that is the time to force it, too, because we will need the orders. If you look as if you had slept in your clothes, most men will jump to the conclusion that you have, and you will never get to know them well enough to explain that your head is so full of noble thoughts that you haven’t time to bother with the dandruff on your shoulders. Appearances are deceitful, I know, but so long as they are, there’s nothing like having them deceive for us instead of against us. Two-thirds of success is making people think you are all right. So you have to be governed by general rules, even though you may be an exception. A man can’t do what he pleases in this world, because the higher he climbs the plainer people can see him. There are two unpardonable sins in this world—success and failure. Those who succeed can’t forgive a fellow for being a failure, and those who fail can’t forgive him for being a success. If you do succeed, though, you will be too busy to bother very much about what the failures think. Of course, when a fellow gets to the point where he is something in particular, he doesn’t have to care because he doesn’t look like anything special; but while a young fellow isn’t anything in particular, it is a mighty valuable asset if he looks like something special. A man doesn’t snap up a horse just because he looks all right. As a usual thing that only makes him wonder what really is the matter that the other fellow wants to sell. So he leads the nag out into the middle of a ten-acre lot, where the light will strike him good and strong, and examines every hair of his hide, as if he expected to find it near-seal, or some other base imitation; and he squints under each hoof for the grand hailing sign of distress; and he peeks down his throat for dark secrets. If the horse passes this degree the buyer drives him twenty or thirty miles, expecting him to turn out a roarer, or to find that he balks, or shies, or goes lame, or develops some other horse nonsense. If after all that there are no bad symptoms, he offers fifty less than the price asked, on general principles, and for fear he has missed something. Take men and horses, by and large, and they run pretty much the same. There’s nothing like trying a man in harness a while before you bind yourself to travel very far with him. The duties of the position to do your work so well that the manager can’t run the department without you, and that you can run the department without the manager. A clerk has just one boss to answer to—the manager. But the manager has just as many bosses as he has clerks under him. He can make rules, but he’s the only man who can’t afford to break them now and then. A fellow is a boss simply because he’s a better man than those under him, and there’s a heap of responsibility in being better than the next fellow. Setting a good example is just a small part of a manager’s duties. It’s not enough to settle yourself firm on the box seat—you must have every man under you hitched up right and well in hand. You can’t work individuals by general rules. Every man is a special case and needs a special pill. Consider carefully before you say a hard word to a man, but never let a chance to say a good one go by. Praise judiciously bestowed is money invested. Be slow to hire and quick to fire. The time to discover incompatibility of temper and curl-papers is before the marriage ceremony. But when you find that you’ve hired the wrong man, you can’t get rid of him too quick. Never threaten, because a threat is a promise to pay that it isn’t always convenient to meet, but if you don’t make it good it hurts your credit. Save a threat till you’re ready to act, and then you won’t need it. In all your dealings, remember that to-day is your opportunity; to-morrow some other fellow’s. Keep close to your men. A competent boss can move among his men without having to draw an imaginary line between them, because they will see the real one if it exists. When you’re through sizing up the other fellow, it’s a good thing to step back from yourself and see how you look. Then add fifty per cent. to your estimate of your neighbor for virtues that you can’t see, and deduct fifty per cent. from yourself for faults that you’ve missed in your inventory, and you’ll have a pretty accurate result. There’s still plenty of room at the top, but there isn’t much anywhere else. It won’t do to say that it’s not in our line, because anything which carries a profit on four legs is in our line. The way to think of a thing in business is to think of it first, and the way to get a share of the trade is to go for all of it. In handling men, your own feelings are the only ones that are of no importance. I don’t mean by this that you want to sacrifice your self-respect, but you must keep in mind that the bigger the position the broader the man must be to fill it. A man’s as good as he makes himself, but no man’s any good because his grandfather was. A man who does big things is too busy to talk about them. When the jaws really need exercise, chew gum. It’s been my experience that pride is usually a spur to the strong and a drag on the weak. It drives the strong man along and holds the weak one back. I learned right there how to be humble, which is a heap more important than knowing how to be proud. There are mighty few men that need any lessons in that. There are two things you never want to pay any attention to—abuse and flattery. The first can’t harm you and the second can’t help you. Some men are like yellow dogs—when you’re coming toward them they’ll jump up and try to lick your hands; and when you’re walking away from them they’ll sneak up behind and snap at your heels. I’ve put a good deal more than work into my business, and I’ve drawn a good deal more than money out of it; but the only thing I’ve ever put into it which didn’t draw dividends in fun or dollars was worry.Worrying is the one game in which, if you guess right, you don’t get any satisfaction out of your smartness. A busy man has no time to bother with it. The time to do your worrying is when a thing is all over, and that the way to do it is to leave it to the neighbors. Money ought never to be the consideration in marriage, but it always ought to be a consideration. When a boy and a girl don’t think enough about money before the ceremony, they’re going to have to think altogether too much about it after; I want to say right here that there’s only one thing more aggravating in this world than a woman who gets noisy when she’s mad, and that’s one who gets quiet.A violent woman drives a fellow to drink, but a nagging one drives him crazy. With most people happiness is something that is always just a day off. But I have made it a rule never to put off being happy till to-morrow. Don’t accept notes for happiness, because you’ll find that when they’re due they’re never paid, but just renewed for another thirty days. When they’ve got a weak case they add their sex to it and win, and that when they’ve got a strong case they subtract their sex from it and deal with you harder than a man. They’re simply bound to win either way, and I don’t like to play a game where I haven’t any show. A married man is worth more salary than a single one, because his wife makes him worth more. He’s apt to go to bed a little sooner and to get up a little earlier; to go a little steadier and to work a little harder than the fellow who’s got to amuse a different girl every night, and can’t stay at home to do it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Yamini

    Hilarious but deep life lessons that go deeper than words on paper. Timeless advice relevant for any age.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Umlauf

    Of course, clothes don't make the man, but they make all of him except his hands and face during business hours, and that's a pretty considerable area of the human animal. A dirty shirt may hide a pure heart, but it seldom covers a clean skin. If you look as if you had slept in our clothes, most men will jump to the conclusion that you have, and you will never get to know them well enough to explain that your head is so full of noble thoughts that you haven't time to bother with the dandruff Of course, clothes don't make the man, but they make all of him except his hands and face during business hours, and that's a pretty considerable area of the human animal. A dirty shirt may hide a pure heart, but it seldom covers a clean skin. If you look as if you had slept in our clothes, most men will jump to the conclusion that you have, and you will never get to know them well enough to explain that your head is so full of noble thoughts that you haven't time to bother with the dandruff on your shoulders...Appearances are deceitful, I know, but so long as they are, there's nothing like having them deceive for us instead of against us. This was an interesting and odd little book. I couldn't find much about it's history online but from what I can gather these letters from a merchant father to his son are fictitious and written by Lorimer when he was the editor of the Saturday Evening Post. They were published in that newspaper and in some way served, I'm assuming, the function of an advice column of sorts. They're full of extended metaphors and witty commentary on business and life in general. They were entertaining, but also very formulaic which made reading them back to back a little tedious. Overall, I found them enjoyable because they're such a unique bit of pop culture, I guess you could say, from around the turn of the century. Everybody over here in Europe thinks that we haven't any society in America, and a power of people in New York think that we haven't any society in Chicago. But so far as I can see there are just as many ninety-nine-cent men spending million-dollar incomes in one place as another; and the rules that govern the game seem to be the same in all three places-you've got to be a descendant to belong, and the farther you descend the harder you belong. The only difference is that, in Europe, the ancestor who made money enough so that his family could descend, has been dead so long that they have forgotten his shop; in New York he's so recent that they can only pretend to have forgotten it; but in Chicago they can't lose it because the ancestor is hustling on the board of Trade or out at the Stock Yards.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Amusing, but annoyingly repetitious. A fictional series of letters from an industrialist to his son, with every letter following exactly the same pattern: admonishment for something the son is doing wrong, a flood of aphoristic advice on how one's business and personal affairs should be conducted, a meandering anecdote that only vaguely pertains to the son's situation. There is almost no plot (other than the short chapter intros which only sketchily show the son's actions), and we learn little a Amusing, but annoyingly repetitious. A fictional series of letters from an industrialist to his son, with every letter following exactly the same pattern: admonishment for something the son is doing wrong, a flood of aphoristic advice on how one's business and personal affairs should be conducted, a meandering anecdote that only vaguely pertains to the son's situation. There is almost no plot (other than the short chapter intros which only sketchily show the son's actions), and we learn little about the son, and not much about the father other than the fact that he loves hearing the sound of his own voice (his letters were exasperating enough, but he must have been an absolute boor in person). The book is, at best, a dated curiosity.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sergio

    Great book. I learned about the book through a website saying it was a must read. This book is a gem and has alot of wise advice. It is hard to follow at some points since it was made during a different time in history with different slangs and sayings that were popular for that time. But the advice given in the book was priceless. Some of the advice i received from my own father when I was younger. This is a great book for a young man. I think everyone should take the time to read it and learn Great book. I learned about the book through a website saying it was a must read. This book is a gem and has alot of wise advice. It is hard to follow at some points since it was made during a different time in history with different slangs and sayings that were popular for that time. But the advice given in the book was priceless. Some of the advice i received from my own father when I was younger. This is a great book for a young man. I think everyone should take the time to read it and learn from the advice shared. Great book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kaustubh Chaharia

    I first started reading this book an year back, it probably didn't catch my interest a lot. I started re reading it couple of days back and the book was simply unputdownable. There are tons of timeless wisdom and aphorisms contained in this book in the format of letters from a father to his son. Each letter being dedicated to a topic/message in particular. This can go down as one of the all time greatest books written on business and life. I first started reading this book an year back, it probably didn't catch my interest a lot. I started re reading it couple of days back and the book was simply unputdownable. There are tons of timeless wisdom and aphorisms contained in this book in the format of letters from a father to his son. Each letter being dedicated to a topic/message in particular. This can go down as one of the all time greatest books written on business and life.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gin

    Didn't really like the old man's point of view, it's outdated, racist and he might be wealthy, but he is very poor in his heart. His thought of helping his son grow is to throw him out in the world and see if he swims. That's one way of doing it, but not one I agree with and very old. It had some peaces of advice you could take from it, so i gave 2 stars for that. Didn't really like the old man's point of view, it's outdated, racist and he might be wealthy, but he is very poor in his heart. His thought of helping his son grow is to throw him out in the world and see if he swims. That's one way of doing it, but not one I agree with and very old. It had some peaces of advice you could take from it, so i gave 2 stars for that.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Justin

    The merchant seems like someone unfit to offer advice. He seems to advocate the accumulation of wealth at any cost. That combined with his proclivity towards ranting make this a repulsive book for me.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Luka Rajčević

    This is one of those books where you should go and read a chapter a day, because there is so much wisdom and good advice that one must take some time to have all of it absorbed appropriately. Would recommend to anyone.

  22. 5 out of 5

    David Wen

    A few nuggets of wisdom in the correspondences between father and son. Overall, not very interesting or relevant today as they lived in a different era.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    This was a quick and interesting book! I enjoyed all the stories he wrote about to his son and funny tangents he went on. There were some good business and life lessons in there too.

  24. 4 out of 5

    William O'Brien

    Letters and More Letters from a Self-Made Merchant to His Son by George Horace Lorimer An unusual and funny read of a self-made man. Worth a peek for an original read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Soheil

    A very enjoyable read with little gems of wisdom which ring true to date. Very recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Hamish

    I really like it. Practical. Unpretentious. Funny. Human. More of this kind of thing please. "Letters from a 30-Years Married Man to His Son" "Letters from a tenured professor to his son" "Letters from a tech startup billionaire to his son" "Letters from a prime minister to his son" Paternal advice about navigating an industry is such a great framing device. What we're really sending you to Harvard for is.split(' '))) to get a little of the education that's so good and plenty there. When it's pass I really like it. Practical. Unpretentious. Funny. Human. More of this kind of thing please. "Letters from a 30-Years Married Man to His Son" "Letters from a tenured professor to his son" "Letters from a tech startup billionaire to his son" "Letters from a prime minister to his son" Paternal advice about navigating an industry is such a great framing device. What we're really sending you to Harvard for is.split(' '))) to get a little of the education that's so good and plenty there. When it's passed around you don't want to be bashful, but reach right out and take a big helping every time, for I want you to get your share. You'll find that education's about the only thing lying around loose in this world, and that it's about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he's willing to haul away. Everything else is screwed down tight and the screw-driver lost. Some fellows leave the office at night and start out to whoop it up with the boys, and some go home to sit up with their troubles--they're both in bad company. They're the men who are always needing vacations, and never getting any good out of them. What every man does need once a year is a change of work--that is, if he has been curved up over a desk for fifty weeks and subsisting on birds and burgundy, he ought to take to fishing for a living and try bacon and eggs, with a little spring water, for dinner. It is never easy to get one except when you don't want it; but when you have to get work, and go after it with a gun, you'll find it as shy as an old crow that every farmer in the county has had a shot at. When I was a young fellow and out of a place, I always made it a rule to take the first job that offered, and to use it for bait. I've seen a good many young fellows pass through and out of this office. The first week a lot of them go to work they're in a sweat for fear they'll be fired; and the second week for fear they won't be. By the third, a boy that's no good has learned just how little work he can do and keep his job; while the fellow who's got the right stuff in him is holding down his own place with one hand and beginning to reach for the job just ahead of him with the other. I don't mean that he's neglecting his work; but he's beginning to take notice, and that's a mighty hopeful sign in either a young clerk or a young widow. It doesn't make any difference how mean and trifling the thing he's doing may seem, that's the big thing and the only thing for him just then. whenever you discover that your boss is no good you may rest easy that the man who pays his salary shares your secret. There's no easier way to cure foolishness than to give a man leave to be foolish. When you're through sizing up the other fellow, it's a good thing to step back from yourself and see how you look. Then add fifty per cent. to your estimate of your neighbor for virtues that you can't see, and deduct fifty per cent. from yourself for faults that you've missed in your inventory, and you'll have a pretty accurate result. Hot air can take up a balloon a long ways, but it can't keep it there [...] The only way to gratify a taste for scenery is to climb a mountain. You don't get up so quick, but you don't come down so sudden. On a press hatchet job: The first essential of a quiet funeral is a willing corpse. A good wife doubles a man's expenses and doubles his happiness, and that's a pretty good investment if a fellow's got the money to invest. A girl can usually catch a whisper to the effect that she's the showiest goods on the shelf, but the vital thing for a fellow to know is whether her ears are sharp enough to hear him when he shouts that she's spending too much money and that she must reduce expenses. Of course, when you're patting and petting and feeding a woman she's going to purr, but there's nothing like stirring her up a little now and then to see if she spits fire and heaves things when she's mad. A married man is worth more salary than a single one, because his wife makes him worth more. He's apt to go to bed a little sooner and to get up a little earlier; to go a little steadier and to work a little harder than the fellow who's got to amuse a different girl every night, and can't stay at home to do it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Harry Harman

    I didn’t have your advantages when I was a boy, and you can’t have mine. Some men learn the value of money by not having any; and some learn it by having fifty thousand or so left to them and starting out to spend it as if it were fifty thousand a year. The first thing that any education ought to give a man is character, and the second thing is education. That is where I’m a little skittish about this college business. Champagne-Charlie, up-all-night Could prove that two and two made four by trig I didn’t have your advantages when I was a boy, and you can’t have mine. Some men learn the value of money by not having any; and some learn it by having fifty thousand or so left to them and starting out to spend it as if it were fifty thousand a year. The first thing that any education ought to give a man is character, and the second thing is education. That is where I’m a little skittish about this college business. Champagne-Charlie, up-all-night Could prove that two and two made four by trigonometry and geometry, but couldn’t learn to keep books; was thick as thieves with all the high-toned poets, but couldn’t write a good, snappy, merchantable street-car ad.; knew a thousand diseases that would take a man off before he could blink, but couldn’t sell a thousand-dollar tontine policy; knew the lives of our Presidents as well as if he’d been raised with them, but couldn’t place a set of the Library of the Fathers of the Republic I simply mention Stan in passing as an example of the fact that it isn’t so much knowing a whole lot, as knowing a little and how to use it that counts. Some men learn all they know from books; others from life; both kinds are narrow. The first are all theory; the second are all practice. It’s the fellow who knows enough about practice to test his theories het up

  28. 4 out of 5

    Vito

    This book was definitely written for a male audience, in case the title wasn't an indicator. 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 he This book was definitely written for a male audience, in case the title wasn't an indicator. 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.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jon Angell

    This was an interesting book which was written as 20 letters written by John Graham, the wealthy head of the House of Graham and Co. Pork Packers in Chicago to his son, Pierrepont Graham. The first letter starts during the time the son is back east getting a formal education, subsequent letters see the son come into the family business working himself from the mail room and up through the ranks of the company, until the twentieth letter in which the father is giving marriage advice and his bless This was an interesting book which was written as 20 letters written by John Graham, the wealthy head of the House of Graham and Co. Pork Packers in Chicago to his son, Pierrepont Graham. The first letter starts during the time the son is back east getting a formal education, subsequent letters see the son come into the family business working himself from the mail room and up through the ranks of the company, until the twentieth letter in which the father is giving marriage advice and his blessing and encouragement for choosing one young lady in which the senior Graham holds in high regards, and of outstanding qualities for the making of a good wife. The story takes place in the Gilded Age and is filled with colorful writing and aphorisms to be saved and used again today. Some interesting stories are told as if it were a causal conversation, I liked most every chapter ( each letter a chapter) except for the nineteenth which was hard to follow and somewhat boorish. Had that chapter been left out the book would have been better for it...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sergei Shnitman

    Came across this book on theartofmanliness.com. A collection of teachings from a Victorian era businessman to his son starting out in business after college. The father tries to navigate his son who is used to upper-class lifestyle to avoid vices and wrong habits in order not to fail in life. The recipe the father gives is quite obvious: Concentration on your work, work ethics, resilience. Nowadays, in the world of tech quick millionaires and safe spaces for sensitive people - these are complete Came across this book on theartofmanliness.com. A collection of teachings from a Victorian era businessman to his son starting out in business after college. The father tries to navigate his son who is used to upper-class lifestyle to avoid vices and wrong habits in order not to fail in life. The recipe the father gives is quite obvious: Concentration on your work, work ethics, resilience. Nowadays, in the world of tech quick millionaires and safe spaces for sensitive people - these are completely forgotten. Each of his lessons the father combines with some stories of his past to illustrate his lesson. I can not rate it as absolute masterpiece as the language is a bit hard to read for a non-native speaker. Too many idioms that you can not find in an Urban dictionary. But the concept is clear anyway. The fact the author was a tremendously successful publisher gives a lot of credit to the book. Nothing close to doubt-casting Robert Kiyosaki. The man got really rich and left estate that exists even nowadays.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...