Napoleon Hill’s Golden Rules by N. Hill – Book Review

Synopsis of Content:

Early in his career Napoleon Hill edited and largely wrote several success magazines. The first among them were the Hill’s Golden Rule Magazine and Hill’s Magazine published between 1919 and 1923. The Napoleon Hill Foundation has compiled the best essays from those magazines into this book.

The book is made up of 12 chapters, each a lengthy essay on an important success related subject that Hill wrote about in those early days. The chapters include:

1. Your Social and Physical Heredity

2. Auto suggestion

3. Suggestion

4. The Law of Retaliation

5. The Power of Your Mind

6. How to Build Self Confidence

7. Environment and Health

8. How to Remember

9. How Mark Antony used Suggestion in winning the Roman Mob

10. Persuasion versus Force

11. The Law of Compensation

12. The Golden Rule as passkey to all achievement

Readers of Hill’s books will recognize some of these themes. Most of the discussion in these chapters is as relevant today as it was 80 years ago when he wrote it. While some of the materials may seem a bit dated and even anachronistic, most of it is sound.

The basic principles of success studied by and published by Napoleon Hill throughout the first half of the 20th century became the basis for much of the success literature to follow. He was the granddaddy of 20th century success writers. Many success speakers, authors and teachers today owe a primary influence and inspiration from Hill.

For the student of Napoleon Hill who is interested in studying the evolution of this thinking this book is invaluable. For anyone interested in time tested success principles this is a good addition to the library.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The style of writing is typical for a magazine of the 1920s. It is a bit more complex and stilted than we are accustomed to today. The publisher however has added some good sub headings and graphics to make it much more readable by today’s standards than the original may have been. Over all the quality is good. 

Notes on Author:

Napoleon Hill was raised in some poverty and obscurity in remote Virginia. After trying his hand at several businesses he became a correspondent for Bob Taylor’s Magazine. Taylor was a US Senator from Tennessee and an early success guru. Taylor sent Hill to interview Andrew Carnegie, then the richest man in the world, at his mansion. What was intended as a short interview turned into a three day stay where Carnegie instructed Hill on his fundamentals of success and eventually commissioned Hill to engage upon a 20 year study of the “science of success” with the aim of writing an authoritative book on the subject. Through Carnegie’s introductions Hill was able to interview dozens of America’s most successful men of that era. Using all this information Hill then wrote several books which were published and eventually became a great success.

Related Website:

Napoleon Hill died in 1970. He has no website, but the foundation he left can be located at:

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:   

1. When reading self improvement materials use the R2A2 Formula – that is, Recognize, Relate, Assimilate and Apply the principles you learn Going through this process for each principle or important fact you read about will enable you to make the most of what you read.

2. Accept and apply the principle that you make yourself by your own thoughts and beliefs and adjust them accordingly. Believe this principle and use it to build your own future through your own beliefs and convictions.

3. The Golden Rule may be the most powerful single element of success. Treat others as you would have them treat you – it is an age old formula for getting the most out of people and being successful. No one likes a grump – everyone likes a genuine and positive person who treats others well. Who do you think will have the most influence on others?

Publication Information:   Napoleon Hill’s Golden Rules by Napoleon Hill. First written by Hill 1919-1923. ©2009 Napoleon Hill Foundation

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.