The Synergy Periodontics and Implants Lecture
The notion of success lay at the heart of the American Dream, and a number of famous figures in American culture have offered formulas for achieving it. They range from Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century to Horatio Alger in the 19th century to Donald Trump in our own time. But the most influential modern success writer has been Dale Carnegie, whose great book, How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) remains even now one of the best sellers in American history. Carnegie revamped earlier traditions, which had stressed the importance of hard work, character formation, and prudential habits. The new urban, consumer, bureaucratic society of 20th-century America, he argued, demanded new qualities to propel the individual upward to greater social status and wealth. Carnegie advocated the cultivation of a winning personality and skilled human relations. “Make the other person feel important,” “establish a positive atmosphere,” and “make people like you,” he wrote. This advice became the foundation for a modern creed of success and a host of modern self-help gurus—from Norman Vincent Peale to Oprah Winfrey—have followed the path first blazed by Dale Carnegie.
Speaker: Steven Watts
Steven Watts is Professor of History at the University of Missouri, where he has won several prizes, including the Kemper Teaching Award, the Faculty-Alumni Award, and the system-wide Thomas Jefferson Award for research, teaching, and creativity. He also served two terms as chair of the Department of History. Watts has published seven books: The Republic Reborn: War and the Making of Liberal America, 1790-1820 (1987); The Romance of Real Life: Charles Brockden Brown and the Origins of American Culture (1994); The Magic Kingdom: Walt Disney and the American Way of Life (1997); The People’s Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century (2005); Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream (2008); Self-Help Messiah: Dale Carnegie and Success in Modern America (2013); and JFK and the Masculine Mystique: Sex and Power on the New Frontier (2016). He has published many articles and essays in venues such as The Journal of American History, American Quarterly, Chronicle of Higher Education, Newsweek, The Nation, National Review, and Salon.
Watts has made numerous media appearances on NPR, C-SPAN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg News, Telemundo, the BBC, and dozens of radio stations around the United States and in Western Europe. He has contributed to documentary films made in the United States, Germany, and Brazil on the subjects of his biographies. Most recently, he has been a consultant and on-screen commentator for the History Channel’s “The Men Who Built America” (2012) and two PBS films: “American Experience: Henry Ford” (2013) and “American Experience: Walt Disney” (2015).