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God's Salesman: Norman Vincent Peale and the Power of Positive Thinking (Religion in America) Hardcover – January 14, 1993


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

George provides a sympathetic yet critical study of "The Man," "The Movement," and "The Message." Peale himself, Pealeism the movement, and Practical Christianity (a technique combining optimism with prayer, imaging, and action) powerfully influenced post-World War II mainstream American religious life. Given sole access to Peale's private collection (then 850 boxes) at Syracuse University, George is able to depict something of the thoughts and inner struggles of this man, who avowed he preached for himself and at times wrestled with depression as he preached positive thinking. The book is valuable also for its insight into American culture, especially that of the 1950s. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Carol George's book is the story of Peale and Pealeism, one she tells competently and with a gentle affection for Peale."--Boston Globe

"A meticulously documented account of the scope and nature of Peale's influence...Peale could not ask for a fairer or more sympathetic portrait than the one that Carol George paints."--The Washington Post

"Norman Vincent Peale is one of the most marvelous people I have ever met in my life. Through Carol George's book, God's Salesman he can become an important person in your life too. Getting to know this man will change your life."--Kenneth Blanchard, coauthor, The One Minute Manager

"A sympathetic biography of the controversial preacher that situates him in the mainstream of the American populist religious tradition....Peels the layers off 'Pealeism' with intelligence and tact: first-rate."--Kirkus Reviews

"A sympathetic yet critical study of 'The man,' 'The Movement,' and 'The Message.' Peale himself, Pealeism the movement, and Practical Christianity....The book is valuable also for its insight into American culture, especially that of the 1950s. Highly recommended."--Library Journal

"No book on the life of Norman Vincent Peale could be less than motivating, inspiring, life-changing. Dr. Peale is one of the 20th century's most remarkable and influential persons. As an author, motivator, minister and positive persuader, he changed my life and my ministry."--Robert H. Schuller, founding pastor of the Crystal Cathedral

"A well-researched, unsentimental, in-depth and intimate account of the life and ministry of one of this century's most influential and effective Christian spokespersons. This book tells of Dr. Peale's unique ability to translate events of everyday life into a message of faith and hope."--Dr. Arthur Caliandro, Marble Collegiate Church

"Fascinating and important, Carol George's study of Norman Vincent Peale illuminates an enduring strain of American religious life. Peale is unrivalled among twentieth-century theologians in terms of shaping the piety of churched and unchurched alike. We are in Carol George's debt for such a fine assessment of this creature and creator of popular American spirituality."--Robert C. Fuller, author of Americans and the Unconscious and Alternative Medicine and American Religious Life

"Beautifully written, thoroughly researched, studded with insights into human nature....Carol George not only presents a distinctive thesis, but presents one that is...both pathbreaking and compelling."--Grant Wacker, Duke University Divinity School
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Product Details

  • Series: Religion in America
  • Hardcover: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (January 14, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195074637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195074635
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,490,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. W. G. Covington, Jr. on November 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In a dispassionate, academic view, Carol George describes the rise of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale from relative obscurity to international prominence. The book is divided into three sections: the man, the movement, and the message. Peale started in a Methodist setting. His family was active in the denomination and Peale attended Ohio Wesleyan, where he earned average grades. Peale is described as a loner who is comfortable with a crowd of 4,000, but ill at ease with in a small group.
Peale was a avid reader. This habit was part of his persona throughout his successful career. She goes on to talk about his first pastorate and how the passion for travel was cultivated.
Dr. Peale's work was his hobby. He threw himself into it totally. He wanted to make Christanity practical, doable, applicable to the everyday world. In radio's "golden age" Dr. Peale took to the air to propagate the Gospel. In applying what he preaches, he advocated living as opposed to overindulgent self-reflection. His thoughts were, "The overly examined life would inevitably discover problems therefore,'The best was to live is just to live.'"
Many of us continue to be blessed by the legacy of this man of God. His good works remain. The fruit of his labors are still sprouting. This book tells how it all started.
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