Think and Grow Rich! is a classic motivational book. Written by Napoleon Hill and inspired by Andrew Carnegie, it was published in 1937 at the end of the Great Depression. In 1960, Hill published an abridged version of the book, which for years was the only one generally available. In 2004, Ross Cornwell published Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised (Second Printing 2007), which restored the book to its original content, with slight revisions, and added the first comprehensive endnotes, index, and appendix the book had ever contained.
The text of Think and Grow Rich! is founded on Hill's earlier work, The Law of Success, the result of more than twenty years of research based on Hill's close association with a large number of individuals who managed to achieve great wealth during the course of their lifetimes.
At Carnegie's bidding, Hill studied the characteristics of these great achievers and developed fifteen "laws" intended to be applied by anybody to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich! itself condenses these laws further and provides the reader with 13 principles in the form of a philosophy of personal achievement.
Reflected in these principles is the importance of cultivating a burning desire, faith, autosuggestion and persistence in the attainment of one's goals. Hill also discusses the importance of overcoming many of the most common fears that can adversely affect one's thinking and potential.
Hill in his introduction to the book refers to the "Carnegie Secret", a conception which he reports is the foundation of all success and appears to be the premise of the book. Hill promises to indirectly describe this "secret" in every chapter, but never state it plainly, believing the use of the secret is only available to those who possess a "readiness" for it, a disposition Hill describes as essential to the concept itself.
Think and Grow Rich has sold consistently since its first publishing. According to one publisher, the book has now sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Think and Grow Rich is currently ranked #9 on the BusinessWeek Best-Seller List for paperback business books and has been on the aforementioned list for 22 months as of April 2007.