Originally a speech that Conwell delivered some 6,000 times in various communities across the country, Acres of Diamonds was inspired by a tale he heard from an Arab guide during a trip along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The tale, and Acres of Diamonds itself, is a parable about contentment, avarice, and a person’s ability to find all that he needs to live a fulfilled life just where he is. Riches, real tangible wealth, can be found by anyone in the town or city in which he lives, or so Conwell preached, if only he could manage to see it. Blending Christian piety and the pursuit of money, Conwell’s quirky speech will fascinate those looking for inspiration and the motivation to make it big. American lawyer, pastor, and orator RUSSELL HERMAN CONWELL (1843−1945) was born in South Worthington, Massachusetts. A captain during the Civil War, he went on to found Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.