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50 Classics

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

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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.

228 pages, Paperback

First published January 5, 2004

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Tom Butler-Bowdon

43 books281 followers

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5 stars
277 (38%)
4 stars
256 (35%)
3 stars
136 (19%)
2 stars
34 (4%)
1 star
12 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 65 reviews
Profile Image for Loy Machedo.
233 reviews192 followers
April 24, 2013
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 Carnegie Autobiography (1920)
8) Chin-ning Chu Thick Face Black Heart (1992)
9) George S Clason The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)
10) Robert Collier Secrets of the Ages (1926)
11) Jim Collins Good To Great (2001)
12) Russel H Conwell Acres of Diamonds (1921)
13) Stephen R Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)
14) Michael Dell Direct From Dell (1999)
15) Henry Ford My Life and Work (1922)
16) Benjamin Franklin The Way To Wealth (1758)
17) Timothy Gallwey The Inner Game of Tennis (1974)
18) Robin Gerber Leadership The Eleanor Roosevelt Way (2003)
19) Jean Paul Getty How To Be Rich (1961)
20) Les Giblin How to Have Power and Confidence In Dealing With People (1956)
21) Baltasar Gracian The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
22) Earl G Graves How To Succeed in Business Without Being White (1997)
23) Napoleon Hill Think and Grow Rich (1937)
24) Napoleon Hill & W Clement Stone Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude (1960)
25) Tom Hopkins The Official Guide to Success (1982)
26) Muriel James & Dorothy Jongeward Born To Win (1971)
27) Spencer Johnson Who Moved My Cheese? (1998)
28) Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad (1997 )
29) David Landes The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998)
30) Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz The Power of Full Engagement (2003)
31) Roger Lowenstein Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist (1995)
32) Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom (1994)
33) Orison Swett Marden Pushing To The Front (1894)
34) JW Marriott Jnr The Spirit To Serve (1997)
35) Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell Shackleton's Way (2001)
36) Donald T Phillips Lincoln On Leadership (1992)
37) Catherine Ponder The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity (1962)
38) Cheryl Richardson Take Time For Your Life (1998)
39) Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power (1986)
40) David Schwartz The Magic of Thinking Big (1959 )
41) Florence Scovel Shinn Secret Door to Success (1940)
42) Thomas J Stanley The Millionaire Mind (2000)
43) Brian Tracy Maximum Achievement (1993)
44) Sun Tzu The Art of War (4th century BCE)
45) Sam Walton Made in America (1992)
46) Wallace Wattles The Science of Getting Rich (1910)
47) Jack Welch Jack: Straight From the Gut (2001)
48) John Whitmore Coaching For Performance (1992, 2008)
49) Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor (2003)
50) Zig Ziglar See You At The Top (1975)

Good points about this book
1) The book proved to be a refresher course in giving the gist and overall feel & understanding of the all-time greats.
2) It serves as a compass in case you are seeking to invest in your own library.
3) The summary presented for each book is brief, to the point and gives you both the essence of what the book is about and about the author in general. Also, the smart use of recurring phrases like ‘In a Nutshell’, ‘Final Comments’ and ‘About the Author’ makes it very easy for the readers to follow the author and avoid confusion.

Not so good points about this book
1) The author tries to cover too much ground in one single book. Given the sheer number of books mentioned, I feel the author could still have elaborated yet some more.
2) Some of the books like Maximum Achievement, See You at the Top, The Luck Factor, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude are classics alright – but I personally feel they are outdated. The impact & power they possessed at one point of time has faded into the oblivion.
3) Though some of the books the author has praised so generously, I my humble opinion, I do not think they are as exciting or amazing as presented.

Moment of Truth
A great summarized version of 50 books with a great bio of the author at the end – all made to fit together into one single book. It is a good to have with you.

Overall Ratings
7 out of 10. Entertaining.

Loy Machedo
loymachedo.com | loymachedo.tv
Profile Image for Kevin.
1,348 reviews58 followers
August 1, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Kevin.
10 reviews
July 28, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Marie.
1,503 reviews9 followers
December 22, 2021
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 another job.
Profile Image for Toufic Hamzeh.
2 reviews1 follower
April 9, 2020
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.
361 reviews66 followers
July 25, 2011
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 Inner Game of Tennis (1974)
JW Marriott Jnr The Spirit To Serve (1997)
Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power (1986)
David Schwartz The Magic of Thinking Big (1959 )
Thomas J Stanley The Millionaire Mind (2000)
Zig Ziglar See You At The Top (1975)

Most interesting is the "Inner Game of Tennis". Definitely wouldn't have found that without Butler-Bowdon's recommendation.

Finished this on my first ever Bullet Train ride to Beijing (just a few days after the new line opened).
48 reviews
March 20, 2010
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 - The Asian Path to Thriving, Winning, and Succeeding
Henry Ford's My Life and Work
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
Lincoln on Leadership
Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way
The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity
Magic of Thinking Big
Millionaire Mind
Think and Grow Rich
Science of Getting Rich

Good stuff. Great for any entrepreneur, self-improvement enthusiast, or salesperson.
Profile Image for Mario Tomic.
159 reviews302 followers
October 14, 2014
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 information. Someone unfamiliar with the literature would have a hard time processing so much distilled wisdom in just 300 pages. It definitely takes months and years to implement everything that is given here, the main benefit I got from it was discovering new materials and authors on the topic of success which is very fascinating to read about.
Profile Image for Esther.
266 reviews9 followers
July 2, 2017
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 slog at times to force myself to read something fairly academic, but I'm so glad I persisted as I made lots more notes on important points. Not every chapter had value for me, but many, many of them did.
Profile Image for Kanske Svartfors.
123 reviews36 followers
January 25, 2019
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.

Profile Image for Mehmet.
248 reviews6 followers
January 27, 2020
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.

Profile Image for LaSchelle.
202 reviews
August 2, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Zack Applewhite.
133 reviews2 followers
August 31, 2019
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.
125 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2008
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.
122 reviews
February 3, 2012
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.
33 reviews2 followers
June 28, 2015
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.
25 reviews
January 30, 2008
Listened to as an audio book - lots of good info summarized.
Profile Image for Dave Golombek.
241 reviews11 followers
January 6, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Major Doug.
475 reviews7 followers
June 5, 2013
Listened to this book: gave good synopsis on each & provided a good reading list for the future.
Profile Image for Brian Basilico.
Author 6 books6 followers
July 3, 2013
If you want to get 50 Cliff Notes on some great books, this is certainly worth the read!
Profile Image for Michael Karpov.
23 reviews24 followers
November 5, 2012
"как становяться лидерами", уоррен беннис:Настоящие лидеры не заинтересованы в самоутверждении, больше всего они хотят самовыражаться.
Лидерство и развитие, а не менеджмент.

"Как я преодолел неудачи и достиг успеха в продажах" Фрэнк Беттджер:
волшебный вопрос чтобы наладить отношения "как случлось, что вы попали в этот бизнес (стали тем-то)?"
Приветствуя кого-либо называйте его по имени.

"Менеджер за одну минуту" Кеннет Бланшар и Спенсер Джонсон
Найди свободную минуту, взгляни на свои цели, проверь их исполнение - и убедись, отвечают ли твои действия твоим целям.
Ясные цели. Минутные похвалы. Минутные выговоры (ясно за что).
Profile Image for Micke Sandlin.
233 reviews4 followers
May 25, 2017
Uppföljare till brilljanta "50 Self-Help Classics" och nummer två i följden av Butler-Bowdons "50-serie". Precis som föregångaren är det en självklar 5:a i betyg. Här är det mer fokus på personer än på kunskap som det är i "Self-Help". Den hänvisar till många biografier av personer som Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie och Abrahim Lincoln. Men får även med Självhjälpsböcker som i flera fall borde varit givna i den första 50-boken. Brian Tracys "Vägen till Mästerverket (Maximum Achivement), Napoleon Hills "Think and Grow Rich" och Spencer Johnsons "Who moved the Cheese". Dessutom affärsklassiker såsom Jim Collins "From Good to Great".
Profile Image for J.
1,837 reviews
October 2, 2008
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 want. A very fast read. Fans of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance will like this.
Profile Image for Panata Harianja.
28 reviews6 followers
May 6, 2008
Buku ini seperti daftar menu. Ada 50 menu sample untuk memuaskan lapar dan dahaga akan kesuksesan dalam hidup. Buku ini berisi uraian singkatnya yang mengantar pembacanya untuk menikmati menu aslinya secara utuh. Ada 50 sampel yang enak dan bikin ngiler. Sebuah buku sampel yang bagus.
15 reviews
December 14, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Jasmin.M ياسمين منصور.
96 reviews71 followers
November 7, 2017
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.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 65 reviews

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