Acres of Diamonds

Cover image for


Published: 1913
Language: English
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 75.2
LoC Categories: CT, BF
Downloads: 49,594 1865

Not only one of the greatest models of effective speech ever delivered, but it also contains the philosophy of a lifetime.

Show Excerpt

onderful world of ours. If this internal molten mass came bursting out and cooled very quickly it became granite; less quickly copper, less quickly silver, less quickly gold, and, after gold, diamonds were made.

Said the old priest, ``A diamond is a congealed drop of sunlight.'' Now that is literally scientifically true, that a diamond is an actual deposit of carbon from the sun. The old priest told Ali Hafed that if he had one diamond the size of his thumb he could purchase the county, and if he had a mine of diamonds he could place his children upon thrones through the influence of their great wealth.

Ali Hafed heard all about diamonds, how much they were worth, and went to his bed that night a poor man. He had not lost anything, but he was poor because he was discontented, and discontented because he feared he was poor. He said, ``I want a mine of diamonds,'' and he lay awake all night.

Early in the morning he sought out the priest. I know by experience that a priest is very cross when awake


Average Rating of 3.5 from 6 reviews: ****
C. Alan Loewen

Russell Herman Conwell (1843 – 1925) was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University as well as his inspirational lecture, Acres of Diamonds. Before his death in 1925, Conwell would deliver his Acres of Diamonds lecture 6,152 times around the world.

In contrary to the one star review this book has received, the thrust of Conwell’s lecture is that everyone has the capability to become effective in following their true desires meeting needs and taking advantages of opportunities in their own community and that the resulting monies from such efforts are to be used for charitable purposes. It is call to hard work and increasing one’s altruistic vision through well-earned monies working toward a worthy and honorable goal.

From his lecture fees, Conwell founded Temple University as well as other civic projects. After his death, proceeds from the printed version of Acres of Diamonds were donated to a Philadelphia homeless shelter still in existence today that certainly defeats the statement that the lecture “encourages selfishness and intolerance.”


I couldn't read more than a few pages, it seemed to me a eulogy of the modern Western culture whereby people are judged by what they have. So if you are successful, you deserve it (and can keep the proceeds without conscience, while feeling annoyed about having to pay taxes), and if you are not successful then it is you to blame, not society which failed you in any way. This encourages selfishness and intolerance, which I think we have quite enough of in our society.

Quite apart from the moral note, I also dislike his tone which is judgemental, polemic and ultimately unkind. Not my thing at all.

I stumbled on acres of diamond text mysteriously and misplaced the copy mysteriously, because I won't just let go as I held it tight to my chest anywhere I went having being held spell bound by the first chapter until I read it to the penultimate page. The book is wholly addressing Nigerians of all ages. Even a president is ready to forfeit his position just to go to America. Nigeria made goods, even when they are ten times better than foreign are just inferior because they are not imported. It is not a course that we are selling our diamond field (crude oil) only to buy mot eaten wood, but low self esteem, greed, discontentment. thanks to Russell H. Conwell for narrating this universal truth. I hope we would not be guilty of throwing aways opportunities anymore in Jesus name.

Russell Conwell founded Temple University on Broad Street in North Philadelphia. He believed in the ability of any individual to achieve great successes in this world. Acres of Diamonds was mentioned time and again during my studies at Temple. But the published versions were old and hard to find. Finally, I can have a copy of my own (on my Kindle ebook reader no less).


I read Acres of diamonds more than fifteen times and each time i read it i discover something new i did not see the last time i read it. I am current working on my third book and i am making reference to Acres of diamonds on the ignornace of many people leaving wealth in search of wealth.I am a Nigerian living in Nigeria. Many Nigerians left their goldmines in search of gold in foreign land. But we are at home mining and discovering the hidden treasure in our native country. There is no need to travel abroad when we are living on Acres of Daimonds. they are ashame of coming back because they lost out...

Mahesh Babu M

Truly an eye-opener.
Shiv Khera in his book, "YOU CAN WIN" provides a reference to this inspirational work by Russell H. Conwell. 3 Cheers!



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