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Acres of Diamonds (Life-Changing Classics)

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  4,960 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
Why was Russell Conwell, the founder of Temple University, referred to as the penniless millionaire? This, along with other questions, will be answered in this revolutionary book that contains Conwell's classic Acres of Diamonds message. You will discover how this lawyer, minister, writer, lecturer, educator, and diplomat who represented the City of Brotherly Love left a l ...more
Paperback, 53 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Tremendous Life Books (first published 1892)
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Chris Munson
Aug 15, 2012 Chris Munson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on a speech originally given as a lecture to raise money for what would become Temple University, this parable about seeing the riches around you can help give you a new perspective. Short and powerful (the book is much like "Who Moved My Cheese" in that it is brief, but contains an important lesson told in the form of a story) "Acres of Diamonds" will force you to take a new look at your own backyard when looking for opportunity. The basic story revolves around a Persian farmer who loses ...more
David LeDoux
This is a small book with a large message that could potentially have an enormous impact on the reader with the 'ears to hear' it and the will to internalize it and put it into action in his or her life every day. The greatness that exists within every one of us does not exist in any external form whatsoever. Rather, it exists within us...waiting to be uncovered and unleashed. When used for the good of others and not for reasons of selfish gain, we discover that we, also, have more than we need; ...more
I wish I could remember what caused me to buy this book over 10 years ago. I have been taking it with me through 6 moves, and I finally read it last night. Horrid. Maybe it is the original prosperity gospel. I have never read so much bs in so few pages. I have never done this with a book before but I am throwing it in the trash.
Mar 18, 2015 Amina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Everything you want to do lies within you, all the sources and the forces are in you..

" Greatness consists not in the holding of some future office, but really consists in doing great deeds with little means and the accomplishment of vast purposes from the private ranks of life."

" Let every man or woman here, if you never hear me again, remember this, that if you wish to be great at all, you must begin where you are and what you are, in Philadelphia, now. He that can give to his city any blessin
Ian Connel
There are some good values in Acres of Diamonds, but a pastor who argues that "poverty is the result of God's opinion of those people" and "rich men are the most honest men" is unbelievably misled. For one, does he know Jesus led a life of poverty, serving the poor? And for two, has he ever heard of advertising? If only he had any clue that many businesses would depend on, and thrive on, using fear and false information to sell things that nobody actually needs.

In fairness, I made it through ab
Book teaches:
1. Prosper where you are (there is a veritable gold mine where you are NOW, find it).
2. Great men are often plain men. Greatness does not come by gaining some "important" office.
3. Figure out what people want and then give it to them.
Aman Kabra
Jan 31, 2017 Aman Kabra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This speech-to-text conversion of the words of a Philadelphian will give you a message long known yet frequently forgotten, in less than 50 pages.
Jan 18, 2016 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up on a whim, intrigued by the banner of text touting the words inside as one of the most famous sermons in American history.


I liked it at first. I liked the idea that we all strive for something that is often already in our lives and that we’re seduced by the idea that something better is out there in some far off place. It’s the old the-grass-is-always greener adage. I like the message that we don’t need to wait to do good or make an impact – we can start now, start small
Jul 31, 2013 Nomi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews-i-wrote
Sometimes we forget to look in our own backyard be it for answers or for ideas to further our wealth, health, or spiritual self.
We live in a society where everything better is assigned an 'elusive' tag. Where everything better is always something we don't possess.
This little book reminds us that that is not always the case.
We are taught to always weigh all our options before proceeding with a decision and too many times we only weigh 'outer' options failing to take stock of what we already po
Written by the founder of Temple University, "Acres of Diamonds" is an inspirational lecture about success. (The edition I read also included a biography of Russell Conwell and a brief autobiographical note from the author.)

Conwell, who presented this lecture in excess of 5,000 times during his life, was a Civil War officer, lawyer and pastor. His family farm was one of the stops on the Underground Railroad and he established one of the first schools that would educate African-American children.
Mario Tomic
Oct 09, 2014 Mario Tomic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really amazed how much wisdom this book contains, every lesson is presented with a true story and it's very easy to recognize the value in these stories. The book itself really goes hard against the very common belief people have that the grass is always greener at the other side of the fence. To read this entire book it won't take you longer than an hour and it's full of powerful concepts that can be just as easily applied today as in 1846 when this book was first published.
Aug 19, 2016 Claudia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book speaks of looking at your life and having a go at making it better. It encourages people to succeed. I really liked it. It is a classic for a reason. If you like to keep yourself motivated you can't go wrong with this one. 4 stars.
Don Gubler
Sep 02, 2012 Don Gubler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: improvement
Good advice in knowing and using the resources all around you.
Mark Holencik
Nov 29, 2013 Mark Holencik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Very uplifting story of how he followed his heart and built a legacy.
Jan 20, 2017 Nyam-Nyam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Conwell's lecture about getting rich, about capitals.
The way to do business is: don't leave out anything, or let religion, etc. get in the way; know the people around you, their demands; the only way to riches is through hard work, he pitties the one who have money more than he can actually achieve; and just try the best to do your job, cuz if you don't do it well, you can't do any other thing well.
Will Simpson
The message of this speech which Russell gave over 5500 times over the years, is something we all could learn from and continue to relearn. Appreciate what we have and resist the urge to search afar for fortune in whatever form. I’m reminded about a couple of lines from a old Zen poem, "How sad that people ignore the near / And search for truth afar: / Like someone in the midst of water / Crying out in thirst, / Like a child of a wealthy home / Wandering among the poor.'
David K. Loeffel
Great "book" or speech

There are a few great lessons in this book about life, humility, and serving our fellow men through business. Loved it before, and I loved it this time as well.
While the book contains a good message that we do not need to search far for what we want in life and that often whatever we want can be found in our own backyard, the rest of the book especially on the pursue and accumulation of wealth didn't quite work for me.
Christopher Okolo
Our riches lies within our reach!
Mar 01, 2017 Davor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, fun to read
Dominic Weighterby
Great book. Super short. I loved it.
Jan 07, 2017 Travis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for personal growth.
Prince Chauhan
Jan 10, 2017 Prince Chauhan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would only say a big surprise full of valuable lessons in a small package,perfectly suited for people who fails it tough finish to the end of those lengthy books on self help.
Contents of the book requires the reader to go in some deep to get the basic idea of the lecture,preferably read in isolated place.
Feb 23, 2015 Vaishali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-improvement
From a very famous speech in the 1800s. Hilarious in places, and with some surprising historical information. I'm listing the historic info first, followed by a few quotes on self-improvement.

1. Inventions originally by women (but patented by men)
Jacquard loom
cotton gin
sewing machine
trolley switch
iron squeezers in steel mills

2. Funny meeting w/ General Robert E. Lee
"The general told me about his servant Rastus, who was an enlisted colored soldier. He called him
Lisa Petronio
If you've read any self-help/inspirational, this is nothing new. Good reminders, nice and concise.
Donovan Richards
An Inspiring Story

For some reason, the simplicity of the standard “success story” conjures the hopeful sentiment that such accomplishments could occur in any life. Truthfully, most successful stories begin with an idea, a notion of which all human beings are equally capable. In Acres of Diamonds, Russell Conwell utilizes positive and negative narratives in order to inspire productivity in his community.

In Defense of Wealth

Simply speaking, Conwell is pro wealth. While many theologians and ethici
Dec 21, 2016 Maegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great short speech that is so definitely true and I think that most people in today's society have forgotten that greatness can be achieved in your own backyard because you are great because of the deed you do not the offices and titles you hold. Your "Acres of Diamonds" are already there you just need to look for them. Well worth the hour it took to read.
Neil Luke
Jan 02, 2017 Neil Luke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Feb 20, 2017 sadiq rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very Christian book, but there is a lot to learn in the first quarter of the book.
Diya Bundhoo
Apr 09, 2015 Diya Bundhoo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Acres of Diamonds by Russell H. Conwell is a small, easy to read book with deep thoughts. It is an inspiring lecture on success in life, with emphasis on the perspective of wealth, money and doing good:

Some of his powerful words:

“Money is power, money is force, money will do good as well as harm. In the hands of good men and women it could accomplish, and it has accomplished, good.”

“You cannot trust a man with your money who cannot take care of his own. You cannot trust a man in your family that
Feb 11, 2016 Jonathan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Russell Conwell, the founder of Temple University, saw nothing evil about material riches, in fact he thought that Christians should pursue riches for making the world a better place. His speech, given in Philadelphia, reads like a pep talk to the congregation to get up and start being real businessmen. It is strange to hear a religious speech so different from "Money is the root of all sorts of evil". For Conwell, the secret of success is to first know the demand. Keep your ear to the ground a ...more
Andrew Fallows
The good, admirable main idea from this short book is this: wealth and success should not be defined by constantly striving after more, but by finding delight, joy, and value in the important things you have.

However, this fairly basic lesson is lost in a rambling speech full of tangential stories, casual sexism (not severe for the era in which Conwell lived, but glaring today), and occasional bad theology.

There are times to value something from a previous era despite the things our modern eyes d
Chris Cook
This is a short book, easy to read, based, I think, on a speech the author did sometime in the 1890s. As such, it's probably one of the first self-help get-rich books out there, and it's a classic. Many of the self-help books of the last 20 years borrow liberally from this book. The most important lesson in this book is to find something that is basically in your own back yard to make your fame and fortune from. It's an important reminder that you already have what it takes to make your fortune. ...more
Mind awakening powerful message so many nuggets of truth and idioms. Must read!

Nuggets of Truth:

The man who inspires nobly is open to noble inspiration
In a deep silence
Marvelous heights you have attained
Naturally enough
Deep tenderness crept into his voice
Enthusiasm invites enthusiasm
I have a large hearted regard
Use illustrations that illustrate
Delightful and confident way
Delightfully terse common sense
Each illustration is a hammer in which I drive home a truth
I can see at a glance all that is
Erlyn Trinidad
Author: Russell H. Conwell

Pages: 70

Genre: Self-help, Motivational

Generally, the book is a short read. It tackles our usual perception and often times, misconception that the grass is always greener at the other side of the fence. It just looks that way, but the book has several true to life stories about people who made it big just because they tried to look around them and looked for a need that they can supply, and in fact some of these people even created a need for their product. On the othe
Katka Olajcová
Jan 21, 2017 Katka Olajcová rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: idk
SK/EN review

Čakala som od toho viac, ale bolo to 44 najbolestivejších strán v mojom živote. V polke sa to síce zlepšilo a konečne som sa aspoň trochu cítila motivovaná a inšpirovaná, ale potom sa ten pocit niekde vyparil a už sa nevrátil.

I was expecting more, but that was 44 the most painful pages in my life. It was getting better in the middle and finally I felt motivated and inspired a little bit, but then that feeling disapperead somewhere and didn't come back.
Anthony Russo
Apr 26, 2014 Anthony Russo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. Russell Conwell was, among other significant achievements, a Civil War hero, a minister, and President of Temple University. In this speech he inspires his audience to their personal best to honor God and help their fellow man. He is a master communicator using dozens of stories and illustrations to make his points. It's short reading, but certainly thought provoking.
Olajide David
Jan 12, 2017 Olajide David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Vital Lessons From the Book "ACRES OF DIAMOND"

1. The Bible never said “Money is the Root of all Evil" as mostly quoted, but "THE LOVE OF MONEY....." instead.

2. Wealth is just within your territory, you only need to discover it.

3. To be successful in business, you need to clearly identify your customer needs.

4. Truly great people never appear GREAT, they are plain, straightforward, earnest and practical and You'd never know they were great until you'd seen something they did.

5. Apply yourself f
Jan 30, 2014 Owaiz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea how much I was going to fall in love with this speech when I started reading it. It was simply something given to me for proof-reading but boy, this is amazing! I've read stuff about thoughts and mind-power and will-power and always find all that anything but annoying. I think this speech is the best there is for self-empowerment. This is brilliant!
Powell Omondi
Great book, the author's main lesson is that you can make the best of every opportunity that comes your way. Instead of thinking that the grass is greener on the other side, we should always know that the grass is greener where you are.

Bloom wherever you are planted, and there are opportunities everywhere it takes the right thinking and analysis to be able to find these opportunities.
Feb 08, 2015 sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Find A Need

Not an exciting book but one to make you think. Has anything changed? Do we miss opportunities because we are to quick to look somewhere else? Do we miss opportunity right where we live?
Jul 25, 2016 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the treasures you seek are right where you are. You don't have to travel elsewhere and leave everything behind looking for something better. These acres of diamonds exist where you live.
Great Morals, but a bit hard to read.

Book has great morals, and great ideas to ponder on. However it's a bit hard to follow because the author jumps around in topic a lot.
Jan 28, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though originally a speech from the 1800's, this work has excellent points on how to be successful while still being a good person at the same time that can be put into practice in today's society.
Keith Aul
Nov 10, 2010 Keith Aul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great example of someone who started out in life with nothing and achieved greatness. Mr. Conwell believed if you can find enough people to fulfill then need you are giving, you will become 'wealthy' because it is an automatic process.

Mr. Conwell was driven for the need to help other people help themselves. His primary motivation was to meet the needs of other people.

Have you heard of the Chinese proverb - 'Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed h
Jun 14, 2015 Terri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Totally forgot that I read it so pretty sure it didn't do much for me. Actually thought the title came from a Johnny Cash song so again, how much help could it be.
Eliot Burdett
Business opportunities exist all around us and you can build a very successful business from thin air. Concepts i regularly speak to my kids about.
Marshal Mdeza
May 11, 2015 Marshal Mdeza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Undoubtedly the best speech ever written. It is about opportunity knocking from unusual places. This is the bestseller of all times.
Michael Locklear
Aug 04, 2014 Michael Locklear rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discarded
Parables and sayings I've heard before, but still not worth the $1.00 I spent in purchasing it. As I was reading, I felt like something was missing. Possibly because mine was a much old edition.
Feb 27, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aside from a faulty exposition on why poor people are poor, this was a fascinatingly timeless read, (if that phrase is possible).
Oct 20, 2016 Austin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant story that is an easy read. It teaches us to use the gifts we already possess in order to find success.
Lisa Warring
Aug 10, 2014 Lisa Warring rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: financial-help
I feel a lot smarter now. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to take finanacial control of their life.
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Russell Herman Conwell was a Baptist minister, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer best remembered as the founder of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and for his inspirational lecture, Acres of Diamonds.
More about Russell H. Conwell...

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“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” 8 likes
“True greatness is often unrecognized.” 4 likes
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