This article examines the reaction to Dale Carnegie’s seminal self-help book How to Win Friends and Influence People by the field of speech communication in the context of Carnegie’s prior connection to that field and as the field developed over the course of the twentieth century. It identifies four general categories of response: immediate rejection, cautious and partial incorporation, rhetorical sublimation, and metacommunicative reflexivity. It locates these responses within a historical trajectory that outlines the changing nature of the field and, to a lesser extent, the evolution of the Dale Carnegie organization and shows how this account invites attention to the relationship between self-help and speech education.

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