Napoleon Hill – The Ultimate Con-Artist

By The Banker | Blog Posts, Book Reviews, Personal Finance
23 Dec 2016
  • Sumo

napoleon_hillI read with great interest this long piece by Matt Novak on the back-story of Napoleon Hill, a man who gets credit as the father of the self-help genre. When I started doing financial book reviews, a number of people (and lists) recommended Hill’s 1937 classic, Think and Grow Rich. I  reviewed his book, and while much of it was cheesy, I tried to keep an open mind.

Hill employs the patter of a carnival barker throughout his book, which should probably be the first clue.  But Novak did the research on the man Napoleon Hill himself.

As it turns out, his life was a complete lie. His original claim to have learned the secrets of business from Andrew Carnegie: false. His business biography: A cover-up of his scam-artist background.

One lesson of Novak’s piece: If it seems like the guy is selling snake-oil, he’s probably selling snake oil. We’re in a new era, in which the ability to spot a scam artist is particularly important. One of my rules has always been, if he’s willing to lie and cheat about some things, he’s probably willing to do it about anything.

Passing bad checks, lying about the ‘source’ of his business knowledge, running from the law…You have to consider the messenger when evaluating the message. Anyway, if you’ve been tricked into reading this kind of book, or worse, going to ‘real estate seminars‘ with the same approach, you’ll be sure to enjoy Novak’s piece on Napoleon Hill.

Please see related posts

All Bankers Anonymous Reviews In One Place!

Review of con artists:

Book Review: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Book Review: The Wealth Dragon Way, by John Lee and Vincent Wong

Book Review: Secrets of The Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker

Donald Trump – The Greatest Con Artist That Ever Lived



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One Comment

  1. Phil says:

    Agreed, he was a con artist, just like Tony Robbins and all of the other “gurus.” Here’s a clue, none of these people ever built a legit business. They are famous for being preachers. There is no difference between the “self help” creeps and the TV evangelists!

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