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One Simple Idea

How the Lessons of Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Life
Paperback Book
May, 2016
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Banyen's Description: 

Serious skeptics, true believers, and seekers of every stripe will enjoy reading Mitch Horowitz’s vibrant, probing, and richly researched account of the impact of the positive-thinking movement on every aspect of North American life today. Filled with a cast of remarkable characters and many lively tales, One Simple Idea is a readable, responsible examination of the limits and possibilities of mind-power as a source of constructive transformation.

Positive thought is at the root of studies on the placebo effect, the 12-step approach to overcoming addiction, and the mind-body connection in treating illness. For all its influence across popular culture, religion, politics, and medicine this psycho-spiritual movement remains a maligned and misunderstood force in modern life. In response, One Simple Idea corrects several historical misconceptions about the positive-thinking movement, rescues its pioneers from obscurity, and explores the lives of its most dramatic personalities, including Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, James Allen, Mary Baker Eddy, Charles Fillmore, Ernest Holmes, and many more. Horowitz’s range, grasp, and style make it a genuinely fascinating read.

Any defender or detractor of positive thinking must weigh his perspective against one simple, ultimate question: Does it work? To find out, we will consider where this radical idea arose from; how it grew beneath our culture like a vast root system, touching nearly every aspect of life; the persistence of its ethical problems (and possible paths out of them); and, finally, what positive thinking says about our existence and what it offers people today.

“A most remarkable history and explanation of that deeply American idea that thought is causative, that thoughts are forces, and that thinking can literally change the world. It can. Mitch Horowitz shows how—with real heart, with real learning, and with real answers to all of the facile thinking, both pro and con, around this ‘one simple idea.’ Easily the best book on the subject we have now.” —Jeffrey Kripal, author of Esalen

Publisher’s Description: 
The power of positive thinking. It is an idea deeply rooted in American culture, from Oprah to The Secret to the mass-media ministries of Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. Yet no one has examined how this one simple ideato think positivelyhas morphed from metaphysics into mass belief.
In One Simple Idea, Mitch Horowitz tracks the history of the positive-thinking movement from its pioneers to its most dramatic personalities, including Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale. Positive thinking has been the root of studies on the placebo effect, the 12-step approach to overcoming addition, and the mind-body connection in treating illness. And it is central to the American idea of success, as seen in political messages like Ronald Reagans Nothing is impossible or President Obamas Yes, we can and slogans such as the U.S. Armys Be all you can be and Nikes Just do it.
Most importantly, One Simple Idea answers the age-old questionDoes it work?and shows that, yes, positive thinking can change the world.

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