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50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom For Work & Life From 50 Landmark Books

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  668 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Millions of us are drawn each year to find the one great book that will capture our imagination and inspire us to chart a course to personal and professional fulfillment. 50 Success Classics is the first and only ‘bite-sized’ guide to the most important and inspiring works that have already demonstrated their power to change lives.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published January 5th 2004 by Nicholas Brealey
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: library, audible
A brief synopsis and summary of 50 books on maximizing success. This gave me recommendations on a few books I’d like to look further at and many that felt dated.
Loy Machedo
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Simply put, this volume compiled by Tom Butler Bowdon gives you a Brief of the Best of the best Success Classics of all times.
The Authors & Books are as follows:
1) Horatio Alger Ragged Dick (1867)
2) Warren Bennis On Becoming A Leader (1989)
3) Frank Bettger How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success in Selling (1947)
4) Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson The One Minute Manager (1981)
5) Edward Bok The Americanization of Edward Bok (1921)
6) Claude M Bristol The Magic of Believing (1948)
7) Andrew
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book contains brief summaries of the contents of 50 other books, 45 of which I was never going to read.

Anyway, it turns out that to get ahead in life you have to look out for opportunity, be diligent, learn from your mistakes, and work really hard. Lots of overlap, most lessons pretty solid, some a little offensive I guess. Not a lifechanger.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: individuality
"Successful people all shared the ability to pick themselveds up after failure."

"Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare."

"Grit is staying true to one things despite all the difficulties that arise."

"Fortune gives larger rewards to those who wait."

"Be excessive in perfection but moderate about showing it. The brighter the torch, the more it consumes itself and the less it lasts. To win true esteem, make yourself scarce."

"Have the courage to seek your highest purpose instead of simply looking for
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, 2018
Good reference book; each synopsis begins with a 1-2 sentence called “In a Nutshell”. Personally, this covers a number of books that I have no intention of ever reading cover-to-cover so, I'm grateful for Butler-Bowdon for capturing these gems of wisdom.

Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson, One Minute Manager
- Key to training someone to do a new task is to catch them doing something approximately right until they can eventually do it exactly right
- Discipline doesn't work with people who aren't s
This book was the perfect introduction to the success genre for me. I would never have picked up the books summarised in here, would never have even thought they could be useful to me, without reading this. There are maybe only a half dozen that I will go out of my way to read now, but even so, I've taken pages and pages of notes on the insights I found in the summaries, so it's been a book of tremendous value to me. I thought about abandoning the book halfway through, only because it was a hard ...more
Toufic Hamzeh
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A shortcut to discover the top 50 books of all time in success and business domain. Highly recommended, I loved the highlights taken from the books mentioned that can give a push regardless you read the original book or not, and this is the real turning point of this book.
Jul 25, 2011 added it
Tom Butler-Bowdon's books are like a set of Cliff Notes. I haven't found Tom's summaries to be useful as a replacement for reading the books he references, but it is a good way to find other books that you may be interested in. Many of the 50 were books that I've already read, but there were a few pleasant surprises that I hadn't heard about and now I'm planning to pick up:

Edward Bok The Americanization of Edward Bok (1921)
George S Clason The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)
Timothy Gallwey The I
David Hooper
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs, people into self-development
This is a great book. It was a great refresher for the books I've already read and a great introduction to books I wouldn't have thought to read otherwise. The author does a good job of summarizing the material covered in a quality way that is easy to understand and I'm looking forward to reading other books in the "50 Classics" series.

Some of the books covered here:

Ragged Dick
The One Minute Manager
Buffett - Making of an American Capitalist
Autobiography of Andrew Canegie
Thick Face, Black Heart -
Mario Tomic
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book, got a lot of good lessons out of it and important reminders from some of the ones I've read before. This books is in essence a compilation of summaries and key elements of the top 50 success books. Since I've already read a lot of the books in the full format this was a great reminder for me. The only downside of this book for someone who hasn't gone through the materials yet would be that it has too much value in it that it's practically impossible to act on all of this good infor ...more
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who reads books on leadership, business, prosperity.
I love these classics series books by Tom Butler-Bowdon and now I've read them all! My favorite is the collection of spiritual classics, and there is some overlap amongst the books, but this is another great collection. I was surprised by how many of these practical and prosperity books talked about ideas that mirrored those in the bestseller The Secret, and spoke about writing down your goals-not just thinking about them. Also attracting things to you by believing you already have the goal you ...more
Eric Beheler
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice lil summary of 50 good books. It wasnt what I expected, but still a very good book. I already read 10 of the books that this book summarized, and this book made me add about 20 more books to my TBR list. I'm glad I listened to this book because I never heard of a few titles that seem very Interesting! Such as The Inner Game Of Tennis, The Magic Of Believing, and The Dynamic Laws Of Prosperity to name a few! It would be an excellent read for someone who is wanting to get into a Personal De ...more
Kanske Svartfors
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can only repeat myself: I have said the same things about his previous four 50 classics books that I have listened to.

Tom Butler-Bowdon succeeds perfectly in doing what he set out to do. He presents 50 success classics extremely well and in concise manner: Clear, well written, to the point and zero filler.

Butler-Bowdon kicks the ball home in giving the right amount of information and avoids all the moralizations that plague many of these kinds of books.

Mehmet Yorulmaz
A disappointment. Purchased with high hopes but turned out to be not very useful.

The summaries are very short. Mostly missing main points of the books or just touching them very roughly. I felt like I just read a publisher’s advertisement document on his newly released books.

Second problem is that half of the book selections are not good. Instead of discussing 50 books, Butler should have chosen 25 and then make the summaries little bit more detailed.

Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to be inspired to improve their lives
Summaries of 50 of the most influencial books on the subject of success, were written from the 4th century BC to 2003. Authors included Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandella, Warren Buffett, Andrew Carnegie, Steven R Covey, and more.

He started each book with "In a Nutshell" to summarize the keys that were discussed in each of the 50 books.
Zack Applewhite
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A spark notes like summary of works on success, motivation, self-help, and financial gains. Followed by comparisons of thoughts, applications, explanations, and a dive into each author.

Great book to help you find the next few books you want to read and cut out the ones you likely would not have found interesting or helpful.
Jeff Wilson
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. It was like having Cliff Notes to some of the best "success" oriented books out there. I had read a good portion of the books over the years and it helped jog my memory. Definitely worth the time. ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I listened to this in audiobook format. I really enjoyed it. It made me want to read many of these books. I like recurring messages of optimism, and this book has that. It basically gives synopses of 50 different books on achieving personal success.
Dec 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In fact I read this book in other language, but it is an amazing book. It helps you to choose your goal by giving you some examples from successful people such as Henry Ford. If you have a goal in this life, this book will help you to make it.
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Good survey of success / business literature. Will help you get the "Cliff's Notes" on many so you don't have to read them. And will help you identify the ones you are interested in going deeper with. ...more
Jasmin.M ياسمين منصور
3.0 a good resource & very general information for self-development (names of successful figures who influenced the world). I knew some of them but I’ve learned a couple more. In which look forward into looking up their work and get an in-depth view of their stories.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it liked it
Listened to as an audio book - lots of good info summarized.
Dave Golombek
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Quick summaries of 50 books. Nice, since I'm unlikely to read many of them myself, but I added several to my to-read list. ...more
Mar 07, 2009 added it
Shelves: self-help, ebook
Good Summary of books we should have read before 30.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-help
Quick overview of some of the success literature, so I don't have to read them all. ...more
Jan 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, energy
I now have a list of 50 books I would like to read! Okay, not all 50. I have already read a few of them. :-)
Oct 07, 2012 added it
Read this long time back...
Gives a very good, brief and precise detail of all the books on self-help out there.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great listen, like getting a bunch of cliff notes to inspirational books. However if I hear the phrase "in a nutshell" again, I will go crazy. ...more
Major Doug
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Listened to this book: gave good synopsis on each & provided a good reading list for the future.
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A should-read book on entrepreneurial success stories for the knowledge worker or aspiring entrepreneur.
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