Napoleon Hill offers guidance for those who want to accumulate wealth in his 1937 book,Think and Grow Rich
. Hill purports to have gleaned the wisdom he imparts in the book through countless amounts of time spent with very successful people.
A lot of the advice Hill gives makes a lot of sense. Things like accumulating knowledge and having discussions with like-minded people are likely to lead to the kind of mental growth that increases one's odds of business success. On the other hand, some of his suggestions sound somewhat dubious. Still, if he could back up his claims with some evidence, I wouldn't take issue with these claims. But he does not.
In fact, he actually hurts his credibility on issues in which he might be correct by making wild claims on issues in which he is not. For example, he states as fact that men bald more than do women because they wear tighter hats, and that doctors don't get sick from their patients because they have no fear of getting sick. Things like this make me feel like the whole book is an exercise in cataloguing the long string of confirmation biases that the author accumulated over his years. There is also one chapter in the book that made me think the author may be clinically insane. Continue Reading »