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The Smartest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason – Book Review

Title and author:

The Smartest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Contents synopsis:

During the 1920s, George S. Clason wrote a series of booklets on financial security and success. Financial institutions gave them away to clients. In 1926, Clason brought them all together in a book entitled The richest man in Babylon.

The book is written as a fable about a man from ancient Babylon who is getting nothing on his finances and is learning valuable lessons from a wise man who has mastered the use of money. It tells the gripping story of the fighter Bansir who builds chariots for a living but never has any wealth to show and how he learns lessons from the successful and wise Arkad, the richest man in Babylon. As the story rotates, teach these key principles to the reader.

In addition to identifying these key principles, explain how they are used to build wealth and financial security. The lessons would have been valid in ancient Babylon, they were just as valid in the America of the 1920s, and they are just as valid today.

Identify seven key principles for lasting financial success:

1. Start getting fat.

2. Control your expenses.

3. Make your gold multiply.

4. Save your treasures from loss.

5. Make your home a profitable investment.

6. Secure a future income.

7. Increase your ability to earn money.

It also examines common failures that lead to loss of wealth and failure. It teaches how to avoid these failures and overcome the weaknesses that cause so much loss and suffering.

By writing a fable of an ancient civilization, Clason brings us ancient wisdom that can be used today.


This book is immensely useful for anyone who wants to master the fundamental principles of building, conserving, and growing wealth.

Readability / Writing quality:

This book is very readable. It is like reading a little novel.

Notes on the author:

George Samuel Clason (November 7, 1874 – April 7, 1957), also known as George S. Clason, was born in Louisiana, Missouri and died in Napa, California.

George Clason is best known for writing a series of informational brochures on how to be thrifty and how to achieve financial success. He began writing the pamphlets in 1926, using parables that were set in ancient Babylon. Banks and insurance companies began to distribute the parables and the most famous ones were compiled in the book The Richest Man in Babylon.

Three great ideas you can use:

1. Learn and apply Clason’s seven principles of financial wisdom.

2. You must take control of your finances. It requires a daily effort to do this. It will be worth it generously.

3. Living below your means will result in the ability to increase your means significantly.

Publication information:

The smartest man in Babylon by George S. Clason

Copyright 1924-1955 by George S. Clason

Published by Penguin Books, USA.

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