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A Message to Garcia
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A Message to Garcia

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  636 ratings  ·  61 reviews
This literary trifle, A Message To Garcia, was written one evening after supper, in a single hour. It was on the 22nd of February, 1899, Washington's Birthday. And on an order of the Mikado, a copy was given to every man in the employ of the Japanese Government, soldier or civilian. Over forty million copies of A Message To Garcia have been printed. This is said to be a la...more
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Published July 16th 2004 by NuVision Publications (first published 1899)
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Some marks may be granted to Mr. Hubbard for his endeavor to demonstrate his idea of the proper way to accomplish a task. However, his notion of very integral parts of completing any undertaking is quite misconceived. To describe A Message To Garcia, in the most gracious way, is to say that the point intended was poorly made.

The author’s fervent admiration of an honest work ethic is to be commended, no doubt. His devotion to the matter seems complete, if not somewhat overly zealous. However, h...more
I read this book briskly and then again. It is a very concise get to work book. The idiology it espouses is to do, not to say. By that I mean that you should be getting things done and making things happen, in stead of asking questions on what you should specifically be doing. The message that comes from this for leaders is to have your people read this book, if they whine, then tell them "message to Garcia" and that battle cry will help them focus back to getting the mission accomplished whatev...more
Gina R
Aug 29, 2007 Gina R rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every Marine
SO first of all I have to say this book is CRAP! Its not even a book. I personally believe it is propaganda, and that it is NOT a coincidence that the author's name is very similar to one L. Ron Hubbard. this really the stuff that we should have our junior Marines reading? I read it as a Lance Corporal (just a lowly E-3), and I hated it. Just one more excuse for someone to chew me out. "Didn't you read A Message to Garcia...LANCE corporal?!" Whatever.
However now that I am an NCO (f...more
Wow... should I be worried that my boss asked me to read this? He said it was "really good", I found it to be bullshit corporate propaganda.
Stacie (MagicOfBooks)
First, let me summarize what this little 32 page booklet is about before I start ranting.

"A Message to Garcia" refers to this man, Lieutenant Rowan, who was tasked by President McKinley during the Spanish-American War to deliver a message to the Cuban general, Garcia. So, what is it exactly that makes this story worth telling? Rowan just took the letter, without question, departed the states, and searched out Garcia---all on his own. And then he returned.

Hubbard (who wrote this in 1913) was so i...more
This long essay, written by Elbert Hubbard, is a speech that needs to be consumed in its entirety; from the beginning to the end, the point that the author is trying to make builds on the previous paragraphs creating crescendo intensity and meaning for the readers.

The message in this essay is powerful: be a person of integrity, keep your word, and carry out the work that you are asked to do quickly, efficiently, and with integrity.

“My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the ‘boss’ i...more
Brittany Sanford
Very good story. Very Short. Worth a try.

As I read the introduction (which is only a few pages itself) I wondered, why am I reading this and what is the point? Well, it gets to the point pretty quickly. It's a 10 minute read.

Very plain an simple, despite a few old timey phrases and a few words I had to look up, but even so I understood it well. It's about Honor, principal, values, and hard work. "Do your job" it exclaims.

It's not about Garcia but about Rowan the man who did his job (taking the...more
Bria Polacek
Hubbard did a fantastic job of succinctly describing the two opposite views of work. Those who make it happen, and those who use excuses and questions to drag their feet to not work or try.

A great view into late 1800s and how people don't really change. There are those who want to work, and those who don't in every era.
It's so easy to make excuses for not succeeding, the easiest being shifting the blame onto others, usually their previous or current boss. Sometimes the boss is at fault, but ofte...more
An interesting view of society. In some ways, an indictment of those who fail to be self-actualized in the spirit of Ayn Rand; in others a reproof of the laid-off as lazy and unions as a shield to the shiftless.
In my opinion, those who, over the years, have found this to be a good short way of reminding others to think for themselves have also missed the point. If you are telling someone that they need to solve a given problem for themselves, you have already had to assist them (not a Garcia)....more
Somewhat inspirational, but really seems an awful lot like some form of corporate propaganda. Work hard, do good ect.. I work in a cubicle so I think that I am naturally susceptible to this.
I think A Message to Garcia is a noble message. I understand (and practice) the general concept of quietly accepting your work, doing it, and completing it with no guidance. Maybe in some industries it applies better than others. Where a questioning attitude is cultivated, or it is required to understand something 3 questions deep, this really can't apply. Where the task is well within the knowledge and capability of an individual and no additional input SHOULD be required, this applies. So I on...more
Dec 03, 2008 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every lazy american
it's so short that it would be criminal if every person didn't read it through
Years ago my father mentioned to me that people used to recite "A Message to Garcia", kind of like they'd recite the Gettysburg address (as shown in the musical "A Music Man"). I'd never heard of it. As part of my efforts to show Dad that the internet was useful for something, I googled it up, and read him the first line. And he said "Yup, that's it!" but then the conversation moved on. It wasn't until this week that I read the whole thing, even though it's quite short.

It's gist is "Just Do It":...more
I picked up this book because it's been on many military professional reading lists, however I was disappointed in it because I thought it would be a short story about the heroism and adventure of Lt. Rowan on his quest to deliver a message, instead it was just a short discourse on doing what is asked of you without questioning why?
Zachary Marsden
I agree with the overall message, but the reasoning behind it is all wrong.

I had to read this for a job interview and write a critique on it. I will not post that here as it was about 3 pages long.
Wendy Gustofson
whether propaganda or not, this book reminds the reader to look around at what needs to be done and do without waiting to be asked. That is an important lesson.
Lene Mahler Jaqua
:) Read this because my second Naval Academy son had a detailer who bombarded their company with this message this summer. It is a fun little story about not asking too many questions of your superiors but simply figuring it out once you are given a task to do. "Message to Garcia" is code for 'figure' it out for yourself. The story is about a soldier Rowan in the Cuban war, who needs to get a message to General Garcia on Cuba. Yet, the story is less about how he actually does so, and more an ear...more
I've applied the principles in this book to my career. It is the initiative that needs to be developed in all leaders.
A clear and concise message: Do the thing.

I don't know what the hype is all about though.
Even though this book has a kind of cult status in the Marine Corps, I've never actually gotten around to reading it. When I saw it in the tower ready room the other day, I figured "what the hell, another book to add to my FitRep." It took me all of fifteen minutes to read and I got to admit, I was really expecting a lot more. Anyone who has ever suffered a "kids today can't do anything right, value of a dollar, twelve miles to school in the snow, blah blah blah..." lecture from anyone over the...more
Didn't care for this book too much. Good thing it was a short read.
Nice little short essay to encourage you to be like the messenger.
Disco Biscuit
I've been meaning to read this for a long time, and it only took me about five minutes to get through it. I was surprised to learn that it's just a small pamphlet containing a short essay about the importance of getting the job done without having someone hold your hand. It addresses the importance of self-determination (and an all too common lack of it). When I read this I thought that it was mostly common sense, but of course, common sense is an uncommon virtue (see what I did there, Marines?)...more
Chris McClinch
Never would have picked this one up, but it was on the Commandant of the Marine Corps's reading list. It's a short homily on the value of a subordinate who, when tasked with doing a job, knows how to take the initiative to get that job done with a minimum of fuss, delay, or unnecessary questions. One completely understands why the book is recommended to privates, and the message is worthwhile for anyone who isn't the boss in any organization, but scintillating reading it isn't.
Short and to the point. An excellent message to people of today as well as in the late 1800's. Do the job you are hired to do to the best of your ability without making excuses, delaying, or putting it off on someone else. Goes along with the saying "doing what's right even when no one is watching".

I was checking in books at my job at the library and saw this tiny, thin book and on a whim checked it out. Well worth it.
A book that's constantly in my mind.Written in a somewhat simplistic manner,nevertheless it has the same effect as any other book could have.Businessmen,soldiers,and many other people alike use this book as a motivation to become better human beings. And this way making the world a better place.This book comes to mind when dealing with simple everyday tasks, and hard tasks in the workplace.A great read overall.
Andy Sinsel
27 years ago, I was introduced to this idea and subsequently this book, by my then Battalion Commander, LTC Ken Wilson. My company executive officer, 1LT Steve Brown shared the story with me, and it has been a core part of me ever since. Whenever I am tempted to find an excuse, complain of insufficient direction or simply give less than 100%, I remind myself of this story.
This book was a companion piece to "Leading Marines" and all hands in my unit read it and discussed it.

This very short tale really boils down to two things: initiative and perseverance. Take initiative and then, when you inevitably run into resistance or a dead end, find a way to go around, over, or through the obstacle. Don't just give up at the first sign of trouble.
Brian Sims
Just read A Message to Garcia - though, I couldn't find the one I have in goodreads (so I just used this one to comment on).. Catch is, I have a pamphlet printed in 1917, which was in a pile of books passed down from my Great Grandpa (deceased), and given to me by my Aunt Joan. Cool, huh. I liked it, even more so, that my Great Grandpa, who I never met, read it.
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Elbert Green Hubbard was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement and is, perhaps, most famous for his essay A Message to Garcia.

Also known as Fra Elbert Green, for the magazine he edited, Fra.

from http://freepages.history.rootsweb.anc...
More about Elbert Hubbard...
A Message to Garcia: And Other Classic Success Writings Elbert Hubbard's Scrap Book: Containing the Inspired and Inspiring Selections Gathered During a Life Time of Discriminating Reading for His Own Use Love, Life and Work Little Journeys to the Home of the Great, Vol. 1 John Jacob Astor

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“Opportunities for education should be within the reach of every individual, not for the lucky few.” 9 likes
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