- Hardcover: 198 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words; 1st Atria Books/Beyond Words Hardcover E edition (November 28, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582701709
- ISBN-13: 978-1582701707
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5,615 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret Hardcover – November 28, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Supporters will hail this New Age self-help book on the law of attraction as a groundbreaking and life-changing work, finding validation in its thesis that one's positive thoughts are powerful magnets that attract wealth, health, happiness... and did we mention wealth? Detractors will be appalled by this as well as when the book argues that fleeting negative thoughts are powerful enough to create terminal illness, poverty and even widespread disasters. The audio version of this controversial book, read by Byrne and contributing authors such as John Gray and Neale Donald Walsch, is uneven at best. The cheesy, obvious sound effects will not do much to add intellectual respectability to a work that has been widely denounced as pseudoscience. Mostly, this audio is hampered by its confusing and disjointed organization—techniques that worked reasonably well in the print version and the movie, such as cutting every few seconds from one enthusiastic expert to another, make for a choppy and somewhat bewildering listening experience. The gentle cadences of Rhonda Byrne's breathy, Aussie-infused voice are certainly the best part of the audio, but her material is scarce and provides mostly connective tissue between the testimonials.
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From the Publisher
The Secret is truly the most outstanding book to date that we have published. I am so pleased that Rhonda Byrne was able to bring together this life-changing information so masterfully. She first did it for the movie of the same name that she produced, which has been a phenomenon in its own right. She then added, in only ones month's time, incredible additional content to the transcript of the film that brings even more clarity to the reader. This is absolutely a book that people from all walks of life can read and then "get" the concept of The Secret. It allows them to then take it and apply it to their lives. Children, teenagers and adults of all ages are reporting miraculous stories of positive changes as a result. Rhonda Byrne is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of The Secret and to making sure that now, finally, the whole world knows about The Secret. You will want to share this with your friends and family and they will be grateful for it. This book gives hope for what many have been waiting for-- a shift in the way the world thinks. Its a very exciting time that we are living in, and I as well as everyone at Beyond Words and Atria Books are grateful to be a part of it.
--Cynthia Black, President, Beyond Words Publishing
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Top Customer Reviews
I had heard about the law of attraction before, but never took the time to investigate what it truly meant. As the book unraveled and began to reveal "The Secret," and how to apply it into my life immediately, I allowed myself to be open in receiving whatever insight I could in order to help me overcome several difficulties in my life and achieve a better quality of life overall.
By the middle of the book I chose to practice some of the techniques that were briefly described through the text just to try it out. For the past 3 weeks I have had pain in the middle of my back. I had even recently gone to a chiropractor to help alleviate my symptoms, which only worked temporarily. The moment I tried the technique of closing my eyes, clearly my mind, and speaking affirmations of confidence and healing something changed. I did not realize the pain in the middle of my pain, which I had been experiencing for weeks, was gone until about 5-10 minutes later when I stopped to stretch. I am not a blogger, I do not receive free books, or any type of compensation for this or any review I ever write. I also am usually one to dispel instant claims of miraculous effects occurring just from reading a text or saying a chant, so when I tell you my pain left and has not been back since I am shocked in a way. I still am secretly wondering when the pain will reappear, but by the continuation of applying the law I highly doubt it will. From that moment I figured if it's that easy then I wonder what life will be like once I apply it to every area of my life.
By the end of the book and my own personal testament, I was hooked. This is a life changing book and I see why it has sold millions and millions of copies around the world. It really works if you apply and believe. After previewing The Power and The Magic, I intend to read those two as well. This has easily become one of my all-time favorite books and I highly recommend it. Just try it. What do you have to lose?
Cialdini's first principle is SCARCITY; people want what's expensive, exculsive, or otherwise attainable. Byrne's mastery of this principle is clearly shown by the very name of the book: The Secret. We all learned this the first week of kindergarten as we felt the jealousy of watching two classmates, hands cupped over ears, sharing a secret out of earshot.
This message is reinforced throughout the book and its advertising campaign which pitches "The Secret" (whatever it actually is) as jealousy-guarded information hoarded by the happy, wealthy and successful. Whenever someone tries convincing you of something, whether it's a way to make enormous sums of money, to lose weight, etc - be wary of when it's pitched as "the knowledge THEY don't want you to have." Think about it - everything from the "secrets that Wall Street doesn't want you to know" to "uncovered - celebrities' secrets to staying young" are phrased not simply to pique your interest but to make you jealous. Appeals to our emotion are far more powerful than appeals to reason, and Byrne demonstrates mastery of this principle throughout "The Secret."
Cialdini's second principle is LIKING. We like those who like us, and in turn, we do business with them. Positive thinking and emotional intelligence has been linked to strong interpersonal relationships, academic and professional success, and good health, but there is a fine line when positive thinking crosses over to unjustified exuberance. Instead of simply noting the substantial benefits of positive thinking (a well-accepted principle which wouldn't sell books), Byrne crosses the line so blatantly that anyone with a modicum of modesty would find it blasphemous.
AUTHORITY is another Cialdini principle, also in play in "The Secret" in quite subtle ways. Another technique which differentiates this book from just another book of positive thinking is the heavy use of quasiscientific language, which gives the impression that the "law of attraction" is (or will become) an accepted scientific principle, just like the law of gravity or the law of attraction of oppositely-charged particles in chemistry. Many people are both intimidated and confused by the authority of science, a fact exploited by manipulators ranging from Byrne to peddlers of magic weight-loss pills.
Since no respected physicist would ever publish a paper on the universality of the "law of attraction," Byrne indirectly seeks experts in other ways. She attributes the success of people ranging from Einstein to Beethoven to adherence of "The Secret," thereby manufacturing experts. After all, if Einstein and Shakespeare mastered "The Secret," who are YOU to question it?
The last two Cialdini principles are CONSISTENCY and SOCIAL PROOF. The success of this book should leave little doubt it will be followed by more (and more expensive) forms of media peddling "The Secret." The audio recordings, weekend seminars, advertising tie-ins, and other follow-up products certain to follow will exploit these two principles. Once people commit themselves to believing happiness will come from "The Secret," they will attribute future successes, whether a promotion or a great new relationship, to adherence to it. Conversely, setbacks will be even more powerfully in committing people to "The Secret," as people will attribute their failures to not living up to "The Secret" (and buying more of Byrne's books). Consistency dictates it will be less painful to buy more books and immerse one's self further into "The Secret" than to accept the whole premise is a quite ridiculous; while not as pernicious as a domineering cult, "The Secret" promises to charge you handsomely for a positive outlook on life.
Byrne's book is problematic on many levels. On it's face, it's a manipulative marketing tool meant to flatter, confuse and deceive. It's also pseudoscience at its best, the last thing we need to encourage in an increasingly technological world which requires healthy skepticism and critical thought. Most damaging, though, is how the book perverts reality by encouraging people to equate a positive outlook on life with a childish, idiotic narcissism. Ayn Rand must be rolling in her grave hearing about the modern manifestation of her objectivist movement reduced to the intellectual equivalent of canned pork.
If you're interested in "The Secret," I highly encourage you to read the book - yeah, READ the book - if for any other reason so not to be manipulated by its brilliant marketing. Read it with a critical eye, with a copy of Cialdini's book in the other hand. You may not learn the secret of happiness, but you WILL learn a lot about manipulation and influence from a master of the subject in Rhonda Byrne.
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