Want the “Wisdom of the Ages,” CliffsNotes version? “Secrets of Success” distilled? Sit back and relax because Tom Butler-Bowdon has done all the work for you. Read his “50 Success Classics,” five- to six-page summaries of fifty of the all-time greats in success literature.

Some of the classics (in order of publication):

– Benjamin Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth” (1758)

– Robert Collier’s (granddad!) “The Secret of the Ages” (1926)

– George Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” (1926)

– Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” (1937)

– Claude Bristol’s “The Magic of Believing” (1948)

– David J. Schwartz’s “The Magic of Thinking Big” (1959)

– W. Clement Stone’s “Success through a Positive Mental Attitude” (1960)

– John Paul Getty’s “How to be Rich” (1961)

– Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top” (1975)

– Kenneth Blanchard’s “One Minute Manager” (1981)

– Anthony Robbins’ “Unlimited Power” (1986)

– Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” (1989)

– Brian Tracy’s “Maximum Achievement” (1993)

– Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese?” (1998)

– Jim Collins’ “Good to Great” (2001)

– Jack Welch’s “Straight from the Gut” (2001)

I’ve read about 40 percent of the books Butler-Bowdon summarizes, including all on this list. And I am proud to find my grandfather, Robert Collier, included among the greats of success literature. Published in 1926, “The Secret of the Ages” was a forerunner of many of today’s self-help books.

I enjoyed reading the summaries even of those books I had read. Butler-Bowden often had a different perspective than I and chose to emphasize different points. The summaries were a wonderful review and a nice refresher.

However, the challenge with summaries is they lack the feel and passion of the original work that helps drive the author’s message deep into our emotional cortex. Like “eating less, exercising more,” it is not what we know that counts but what we DO with what we know!

Closing Quote:
“To know and not do is to not know.” — Stephen R. Covey