Summary of Message to Garcia

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Message to Garcia book summary


8 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Publisher Elbert Hubbard’s concise, classic essay – which he wrote in an hour in 1899 after a lazy worker sparked his ire – has almost nothing to do with the message or the man of its title. Hubbard refers to a possibly apocryphal letter to make several hilarious, incisive points about employee motivation and the difficulty of finding that precious worker – the one who gets on with the task at hand, without questions, arguments or excuses. Hubbard’s breezy, snarky, cynical voice – half Mark Twain and half Jerry Seinfeld – elevates this brief (about 30 pages) memorable treatise of common sense and hard-earned resignation into an essential guide for pretty much everyone seeking employment, every worker and every boss. Hubbard’s tone is conversational, pithy and succinct. His words of bemused wisdom have endured because pretty much everything he says is true. getAbstract recommends this beloved artifact to anyone who has a job to do or who must motivate other people to do theirs.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How A Message to Garcia came to be so well known,
  • Who was Garcia and who sent him a message,
  • How to be valuable to any employer and
  • Why employees should promptly get on with their tasks.

About the Author

Elbert Hubbard, a publisher and author born in 1856, wrote Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great. He died aboard the luxury ocean liner Lusitania, when a German submarine torpedoed the ship off the coast of Ireland in 1915.



Who Was Garcia?
Elbert Hubbard wrote this essay in an hour after supper on February 22, 1899. The piece was a last-minute, untitled addition to the March issue of his magazine, Philistine. Hubbard had put in a tough day trying to get his employees to do what he wanted, or, as ...

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    Harshad Sonar 5 years ago
    gA - thanks for sharing this summary. Certainly made me put this in the list of the books to read. It would be interesting to see how much of it is really applicable in the contemporary corporate world!

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category