When I first picked up the book in the library, I had high expectation for what could lie beneath the cover. Napoleon Hill was an influential man during The Great Depression and his works have been widely read and study even in today’s world. Most avid followers of the self-help genre will probably recognise Hill’s most favorite piece of literature: “Think and Grow Rich”. This book Outwitting The Devil was somewhat a direct sequel to Think and Grow Rich. More interestingly, the book was not published during the period because of fear towards a public outrage, and Hill’s wife did claim profound contents in the book. This make me think, what criticism did this great conjured that generated such resentment. Flipping to the back covers and read the synopses of the document, there was a feeling of ebullience, yet a surge of fear also hit me as of the name of the book
Outwitting the Devil is a book that was written by Napoleon Hill and annotated by Sharon Lechter. It was originally written in 1938 by Hill, but was said[who?] to be too controversial to be published during that time period. It was released by Sterling Publishing in June, 2011.
The book is an interview between Hill (Mr. Earthbound) and The Devil (Your Majesty). Hill uncovers the secrets to freedom and success by evaluating the greatest obstacles that humans face in order to attain their personal goals in life. (Wikipedia)
I was expecting a piece of art from Hill’s and he delivered it with the same courage and enlightenment that encrypted in his first work. The book was adorned with great inspirational accolades, and tools that could help a person succeed in life. The book that I read was a shortened version, and also annotated by Sharon Lechter called: Outwitting the Devil: the Secret to Freedom and Success. Her annotation helped tie in the knot between Hill’s period of time and the contemporary world. It was helpful, but some parts were unnecessary. Hill’s previous book Think And Grow Rich revolve around the idea of great ideas and having courage to look forward. This book, however, was the underlying foundation to be build towards the concepts introduced in Think and Grow Rich, because the story was about overcoming your self-doubt, laziness, and procrastination. Hill’s borrowed the “Devil” for these contempt thoughts. In general, this is not your typical self help book because the book is actually a fictional interview transcript between Hill and “the Devil” which turns put to be himself or his wife. The book attempt to bring out two side of the human minds, one represent greatness, which throughout the book, Hill use “God” as a metaphor. The other side of the spectrum was the Devil or your “drifting’ mind or “Your Majesty”. This is a great piece of literature that sure to impress even if you are not an avid reader or not a fan of the self help genre or Napoleon Hill like myself. Even though Hill’s works is great, and I do read most of his works, Some if his view where archaic and had not taken to account many modern attributes, which I do not blame. Outwitting the Devil, however, describe issues with a psychological and story-driven approach so even though the book was written in 1931, there are still many relatable concepts.
The book start out with a short description of what was leading to the interview events, in which Hill’s was also experiencing the affect of the Great Depression and were in trouble with money. He was then desperate for money so he went to collect his royalties, from which he encountered the “Devil” during the journey. I really like how this book started, was he showed that he was also in trouble with money . This in turn give the reader a level of guarantee that Hill’s know what he was talking about and not base on what he thought being poor and depressed was like. Perhaps, the strongest effect the first part of the book delivered to the reader is the buildup to what could be an incredible interview with the Devil. Throughout the interview, Hill’s reprise some of his old works, but also introduced many concepts that could help readers to achieve a goal that they want. The book describe the issue of “human” having the tendency to “drift”, or in today’s world “procrastinate”, away from what they wanting to achieve. The interview was extensive and the Devil’s describe how he grab the human’s brain and makes people became lazy. The first segment described thoroughly how the Devil’s control the minds and cause people to underestimate his power and then attack them without knowing. Readers will sense a truthfulness in the Devil’s words as we could also fell into the Devil’s trap of being lazy one time or another. The first part give me an absolutely thrilling sensation, but also a scared as I start flipping through the page, the more thought provoking the author got. I could not help but to read on and try to find out how to bring myself out of the predicament set out by the Devil. This part of the book was powerful as I am sure many people today’s are distracted from all of the technology in the world and could really help to be refocus. The concept resonated with a large group of demographic that the target reader will probably just be anyone with an ability to read. The next part was the remedy to the issue of laziness and “drifting” in which Hill’s describe through the seven principles:
1. Definiteness of Purpose
2. Mastery over Self
3. Learning from Adversity
4. Controlling environmental influence
I am not going to describe in detail the principles and the procedure and antidote, because it is very exhilarating and to experience the full extent of that, you must read it. These principles will be the guiding torch for outwitting the devil and finally take over control of your psychology. This extensive segment will give you such a motivation that you could become a “non-drifters” as Hill’s describe to be one of the greats. The key idea surrounding the 7 principles were the ability to master your mind and emotion to become a fully productive individual, and beat the Devil’s at his own game. The solution was described by the Devil him self, although it was clearly Hill’s word, this continuous borrowed concept of the Devil added another level of thought in the readers’ minds. After finishing the book, the reader can expect a great surge of motivation, as expected from Hill’s work. the book was banned because of the criticisms towards the educational system and the religion. Even parents, and political system was criticize in the manuscript. Hiding this book from the public was a good move because this will cause some controversies, especially when people were not in the right minds among the war and economic breakdown at the time.
Overall, this is a great read, and Hill’s have not failed to delivered in this book. The combination of a compelling fictional showdown with the devil, and the tie in with the mind elevated the book to great extent. A great self-help book that could sure to motivate you to do great things, and stop procrastinating, which we all need to stop doing. (Binge-watch Tv shows, Facebooking, surfing Youtube, etc.). This will help you to lowered and even stop your procrastination, and combining this book with Think and Grow Rich you will sure to have a powerful mind. Outwitting the Devil, however, fell a little bit short because I felt like Hill’s could have dug more out of the Devil’s or “himself”.
MY RATE: 8.5/10