A Message to Garcia
Author: Elbert Hubbard
Published by Kessinger Publishing Company
Published in 1899
A widely distributed inspirational essay focused on work ethics. The book is effective at supporting initiative and resourcefulness as admirable traits.
Utilized by every major country to spur their armies and industries during the first half of the 20th century, A Message to Garcia holds the record as the most widely distributed short story published as propaganda. It has been read the world over by factory workers and soldiers of a multitude of nations; and this has become so commonplace it used to be a euphemism for taking initiative. The messenger that Elbert Hubbard uses as his primary example of a high quality worker is named Rowan. He was a real person who did carry a message for the U.S. President to General Garcia during the Cuban Revolution as part of the SpanishAmerican War. Being based on true events added further to the themes of good work ethics and strong moral character that are the primary ideas intended to be instilled by A Message to Garcia.
I first read A Message to Garcia in bootcamp upon the request of my Senior Drill Instructor, he labeled it as inspirational and said it would make us better Marines. He was accurate in his description, because after reading I was able to recall the book's lessons during times when I didn't understand what or why I was doing something and I was able to harness the will to find a solution to get the task at hand accomplished. This effect it has on people is the reason the book is so widespread. The story of Rowan who simply was given a mission to accomplish and without hesitation went out and did what needed to be done quickly and efficiently is the driving theme and prime example in the book.
The book's short length makes it easy to read, but you have to read it slowly to understand ...
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