It is usually unlikely that a book is nearly 100 years old but the attention of the book is as vivid as it has never been before. Normally, these are books about politics and philosophy enduring time. But not this one: George Samuel Clason published the book “the richest man in Babylon” in 1926 to write about money and personal finance that pushes you to reflect your own attitude about how you should behave with your earnings. The book tells stories of Babylonian times and connects strongly with the present hypes about financial freedom and frugalism.
The book “the richest man in Babylon” consists of 118 pages splitted into 12 chapters. However, this review is based upon the audio version. Most of the chapters are very generalised in telling stories about persons who strive to or succeeded in getting rich. They tell about their failes and losses and how they overcame them. It has a certain learning-by-doing touch to the story. Also, there are philosophical and lecturing chapters that barely consists of anything than rules and reasoning of these rules.
For example, there is a chapter that discusses luck. The richest man in babylon describes luck within a personification as the goddess of luck. She is willing to give but just if you take chances of calculatable risk. She damnes those who try to overcome her by gambling. He explaines that luck is the sum of succeeded taken chances and those who do not
I cannot state how Mr. Clason did it but I think the richest man in Babylon is really entertaining. Though, I am not an native speaker, I have no problem understanding the old English language style and it gives a kick to feel back in time – though Babylonians might have spoken some kind of ancient Persian.
The stories feel a bit repetitive but repetition is one of the best ways of learning new things. Especially, I am intrigued by the philosophical discussions of Arkad which is entitled to be the richest man. They let you think about your own financial behaviour. From time to time, I thought that I should have read the book much earlier – maybe by 16 or 17.
Especially, the part with paying yourself first is interesting for my generation. There are many who spend to much and are captured by dept in a never ending wheel of paying interest. Clason states “pay yourself first!” and save some money whatever happens. Then, these savings will pay off with interest for you and help you in bad years.
However, Mr. Clarson clearly writes not to live frugal. This is a misconception. Buy a house, spend some earnings for joyful purposes but keep it to 90% of your earnings max. Get rid of your dept but do not pay all for your depts every month, always keep it a bit for you. Manage your money with caution.
The strange mix of story telling, psychologicy, philsophy, economics and business is a thin line but Mr. Clarson got it right: He entitles every aspect a bit of time to discuss it and gives valid rules to overcome most of the issues. This book is a treasure.
Fascinating and oddly entertaining book. One can learn alot of the old tips but has to adapt to present scenarios. This book should be an obligation in school for every student.
I give this book 6 out of 6 birds.
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