"A PIONEER IN THE FIELD OF PUBLIC SPEAKING AND THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE SUCCESSFUL PERSONALITY": FIRST EDITION OF THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING, 1915, DALE CARNEGIE'S ELUSIVE FIRST BOOK, ISSUED IN HIS BIRTH SURNAME BEFORE CHANGING IT "IN HONOR OF HIS HERO, ANDREW CARNEGIE"
(CARNEGIE, Dale) ESENWEIN, J. BERG and CARNAGEY, Dale. The Art of Public Speaking. Springfield, MASS.: Home Correspondence School, (1915). Octavo, original gilt-stamped red cloth. $2900.
First edition of the very scarce first book by Dale Carnegie, issued with his birth name before he changed his surname to "Carnegie," co-authored with journalist Joseph Berg Esenwein, a splendid copy in the original gilt-lettered cloth.
Born Dale Carnagey in 1888, he later "changed his name to Carnegie in honor of his hero, Andrew Carnegie." After struggling with dire poverty in college and at New York's American Academy of Dramatic Arts, "in 1912 his career took a turn at the 125th Street YMCA, where he was able to sell the director on a program in public speaking." It was there that "he discovered the key to his success… and he began offering special courses about public speaking and influencing people for clubs, chambers of commerce, and business organizations" (ANB). This very scarce first edition of Carnegie's first book, published before he changed his name, was co-authored with Joseph Berg Esenwein, a journalist then serving as editor of Lippincott's Magazine.
Art of Public Speaking features detailed chapters on strategies to improve confidence, the use of voice and gesture, and keys to persuasive argument, as well as appendices with themes for speeches and numerous source references. Carnegie's most famous work, How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), confirmed his influence and status as "a pioneer in the field of public speaking and the psychology of the successful personality. A child of the rural oratorical tradition of the 19th century, he left his mark on the 20th century" (ANB). First edition, first printing: with no statement of edition or printings on the copyright page. Publisher's advertisement including listing of "Art of Public Speaking" opposite title page.
Text quite fresh, faint toning to spine. A handsome copy in fine condition.