The author’s fervent admiration of an honest work ethic is to be commended, no doubt. His devotion to the matter seems complete, if not somewhat overly zealous. However, he has chosen a meager subject to illustrate this lesson about doing “intelligent work.” Throughout this writing, the author incessantly berates “foolish inattention” and “imbecility.” This leaves one to wonder if he has considered the “hero” of his own story, Lieutenant Andrew Summers Rowan. For what could possibly be more negligent than to accept a missive without first knowing the particulars of the undertaking? What act speaks more clearly to the quality of ignorance than to tempestuously jump headlong into one’s mission. Hubbard has chosen a simpleton to be the antithesis of “half-hearted work.” While he applauds Rowan for not “asking any idiotic questions,” he should be contemplating the consequences of the very same action.
What is even more appalling than Hubbard’s open contempt for the independent-minded worker is his misconstrued idea of the book’s importance to it’s recipients. Undeniably, there are opinions voiced in this work that do appeal to some. However, it is doubtable that every Russian railroad employee felt deeply dignified to be in possession of the booklet when ownership had clearly been imposed upon them. One must question the author’s image of the ideal, appreciative reader. “The Japanese, finding the booklets in possession of the Russian prisoners, concluded that it must be a good thing,” Of course! Why not give it to “every man in the employ of the Japanese Government?” Perhaps they too may one day be privileged enough to be caught in the prison of mental subservience with a copy of the book on their persons.
In conclusion, it is evident that not only did Elbert Hubbard misjudge the importance of the information gathering process as it pertains to task completion, but he also grossly overestimated the relevance of his own advice. As for the matter of Rowan’s success in his quest, it is no secret. It’s outlined clearly in the Publisher’s Note of the book. Sure, he got to Cuba all by his self. Once there, “he was furnished with native guides.”Rest assured that they had thought to ask where Garcia was! I dare say that had it not been for those same guides it would be a much different tale to be told. There would have been no message to Garcia…………
Just an epitaph for Rowan.
- Release date: 01.05.2007
- Author: Elbert Hubbard
- Publisher: Executive Books
- ISBN: 9781933715322
- 1 pages
- Book rating: 4.33 (776 votes)
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