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Think and Grow Rich Paperback – June 17, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I hope to update this review when I find a less crappy copy of this book, but avoid the version with the black cover with money on the bottom. (See pictures)
Second, it talks about BELIEVING, it says that in order to reach whatever you seek you first have to believe and have faith in your abilities, in the plan that God has for you and to BELIEVE IN YOU!! Also it teaches you that you need to have faith, persistance and very BIG BIG dreams. For all of you that are reading this review i want to tell you THAT YOU CAN DO IT!! YOU WERE BORN TO BE GREAT!! But people dont believe it because of what other people says about them but ignore the negative people and STAY LOCKED WITH YOUR DREAM, DONT LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO THINK. IGNORE THEM AND STAY FOCUS ON YOUR PURPOSE. I WANT TO TELL YOU THAT I BELIEVE IN YOU AND I LOVE YOU. YOU CAN MAKE IT!!!!!!!!!!
Some of it IS good - the leadership section is fantastic and I really liked the job seeking advice, some of which is parroted by reputable sources today. His predictions on industry behavior in everything other than journalism is sound in its argument even 80 years later. (Facebook would have blown Napoleon Hill's mind!) It seems like every time I hit one of those sections, though, I'd go into something else that would negate it. Hill suggests personal desire can be transmuted into its physical equivalent throughout the book, but that personal desire must be unfaltering and from within, adhering to his 13 steps. I wouldn't have cast doubt on any of that, but all his instructions are imperative (do it his way, exactly, or it's completely your fault) and backed up with vague authority and "common sense." He also backs it up with real-life examples, but some of these are questionable at best.
For example, Hill illustrates decisiveness through Samuel Adams making a decision not to accept a bribe, thus ensuring his vision of a country free of tyranny. I could have accepted that story as an example of other traits, but decisiveness? This could be contorted to fit even if the opposite happened: by remaining loyal to King George's demands, Adams transmuted his personal desires into wealth and upheld his vision of a British empire. Obviously, this is not true, and subject to historical supposition, but it's a poor example and is just one instance of Hill's hero worship that pervades the book.
There was a personal example of Hill's son, born deaf, who overcame his disability to become a productive member of society. This would have been an inspiring story, but Hill reveals that he socially manipulates his son's teachers to give him advantages, and even incepts the desire to hear into his son (through a form of tactile speech). So, the desires you wish to apply to Hill's methodology need to be innate, but if your parents want it instead, that's apparently good enough. (There was another example where a parent "helped along" their child, so this isn't purely against Hill's family relationships.)
Most of his lessons feel shoe-horned into the book just like that. When the book takes a turn to the spiritual near the end chapters, he focuses on how fears manifest themselves into reality. According to Hill, illness and baldness can be avoided entirely because doctors and hatless men do not succumb to fear. It has nothing to do with sanitation or genetics - it's bravery!
The pseudoscience, formality of language, and horrible organization of the book (requiring back-and-forth throughout chapters to recall referenced lessons) would have made this book daunting to read in any form, but the Kindle version has a few scan errors to further complicate matters. Of course, not having my brain vibrate at a frequency to accept this book's message is my fault for reading it too fast; Hill suggests taking in the whole book over the course of a year, internalizing each chapter as it comes up. I paced myself as best I could, wanting to absorb its themes in a way that could improve my standing, but I still managed to complete the book a couple of months after I started reading. I wanted this thing over and done with.
There are probably better versions of this book out there, and I may give a free version a read-through to pick up on the reputedly omitted material. Bottom line, though, it's not worth purchasing this book for anything other than the job-hunting advice. At least the best way to earn money hasn't changed after all these years: be happy with wages, and keep dreaming of windfalls.