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Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success
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Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success

4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  1,568 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Napoleon Hill wrote this book in 1938, just after publication of his all-time bestseller, Think and Grow Rich. This powerful tale has never been published, considered too controversial by his family and friends.
Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Napoleon Hill digs deep to identify the greatest obstacles we face in reaching personal goals: fe
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Sterling (first published January 1st 2011)
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThe Secret by Rhonda ByrneEvery Silver Lining Has a Cloud by Scott StevensHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Best Self Help Books
214th out of 604 books — 884 voters
Zen in the Garden by Tracy J.  ThomasAn Average Joe's Pursuit for Financial Freedom by Michael Warren MunseyThe Alchemist by Paulo CoelhoHigher Education 101 by Osamede ArhunmwundeThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Life Transformation Books
30th out of 33 books — 19 voters


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Community Reviews

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Becky Reed

I just read the latest publication of Napoleon Hill that was set aside over 80 years ago, Outwitting the Devil, the Secret to Freedom and Success. In the two years following my trek into the “bowels of the Twilight Zone,” I sank into the quicksand of a self-sustaining process with a narcissist/psychopath and his clan. I found myself buoyed in a current of some strange delusion of life and hoping that somehow I could be saved. I had no idea where or how that might arise as an agonizing crisis of
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Mark
This book was fascinating!
I have read Think and Grow Rich, The law of Success, and have the Keys to Success audio series so I figured I pretty much had all of NH's material. Wow was I ever wrong.

First off after a short story about himself after he lost all his money in the depression and the strange turn of events he experienced he goes into a Question and Answer series with the devil. This made for very quick reading. His years of interviewing the successful people and failed folks of his day a
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Rashida
This is quite possibly one of the most thought provoking and life changing books I've read to date. If you read this I urge you to do so with an open mind, understanding that it is NOT IMPORTANT whether you think it's the real devil or a metaphor. Either way, these are things that do hold a lot of us back from success.

Let his perspective inspire your own. I personally know that I've been "a drifter" as he describes, and can even catch myself almost falling back into it from time to time.

Makes
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Tre Scott
While the original author's text makes for a good read - or listen - the continuous interruptions of the annotator, Sharon Lechter, forced me to discontinue after about 40 minutes. Every time the story gained a little momentum, Ms. Lechter butted in.

I then re-edited the audiobook, removing Ms. Lechter's commentary so that I could enjoy it in peace.

If you've already purchased the audio version, but would like to be able to listen to it cleanly, let me know and I can email it to you.
Jeff
If you're facing adversity or in the middle of a life change, this is a great book to read. A great challenge to your mindset on whatever it is you are currently facing. Some takeaways:

* The capacity to surmount failure without being discouraged is the chief asset of every person who attains outstanding success in any calling.

* The seven principles to attain spiritual, physical and mental freedom:
1. Definiteness of purpose.
2. Mastery over self.
3. Learning from adversity.
4. Controlling envi
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Adam
Sep 13, 2012 Adam marked it as to-read
Shelves: audible, self-help
Was listening to the audio version of this book and while I'm a big fan of Hills, the constant intrusion of the editors POV and her constant explanations and justifications as to why this work is pertinent now was so frustrating I had to stop. I might have to read the print version so I can skip over the editors incessant need to explain every detail. It reminds me of going to the movies with someone who has already seen the picture and can't keep their mouth shut. They keep telling you why this ...more
Doug
I believe I've read over 100 books on personal development, success and business. I had a top 10 list already...now I have a top 11 list.

Thank you, Sharon, for bringing this to life.

"Outwitting the Devil" is a personal favorite and one I am recommending to all of my friends, children and acquaintances.

Brilliant work...simply brilliant.
Susan Highland
May 25, 2011 Susan Highland rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone on the planet!
I won this book in the giveaway, and received it yesterday! I can NOT put it down! This is the BEST book I ever read, and I highly recommend it to everyone! It is not yet released, but can be purchased on Amazon, and sent to you when it is released! It's making me crazy, because I want everyone in my family and all of my friends to read it, but I can't purchase for them yet! It is uplifting, inspiring, and timely!

This was written in 1938, and sat for 72 years unpublished. Very timely release, an
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Kent
I have read Hill's "The Law of Success" and found a few of the principles outlined in this book; the major principle being the definiteness of purpose. Of course, the editor, Sharon Lechter, understands that Hill's conversation with the Devil may seem a little far out to many in our culture. Although, in all honesty, it probably is no different when Hill wrote this book in the 1930s. Hill, of course, definitely believed this was the Devil.

As a Christian, I can see some aspects of what could pot
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Joe
A very interesting book on the dangers of destructive and negative thinking, something very widespread in society today with catchy addictive headlines about disaster and promising more disaster.

In order to avoid getting sucked into blaming the government, the banks, the rich, your parents, your boss etc... for your problems and taking control of your life essentially you need to:

1. Have a definite purpose in life (to look after your family, accumulate wealth, help others..)
2. Mastery over self
3
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Javatis Midget
This book is a must read for everyone. Initially I was going to give this book three stars because the message wasn't new; however as I neared the end, it reaffirmed everything that I have read and believed thus far from another angle which allowed me to thoroughly enjoy it. It reiterated if we just apply the knowledge we've gained, life will give us the new direction we are looking for. The seven principles Mr. Hill identified made so much sense. One of the main ones for me is “Self Discipline” ...more
Yemi Obayanju
So many lessons behind this book. I really
liked the breakdown of the 7 principles. A must read for all. But you must go into reading this novel with an open mind for it will not disappoint.
Elham
One book that every single person should read. I feel this is today's holy book. A manual i would go back to again and again. Simple and brilliant...filled with AHA moments.
Camelia Urcan
Despite being written almost 80 years ago, the world problems signaled throughout the book are incredibly timely - from the aimless, futile education system, to the parents inculcating fear upon their children, to the church which builds its entire argument around the fear of Evil, to the power of the so-called hypnotic rhythm and many, many other things like this.

Leaving aside the imaginary conversation with the devil (which may be found offending by some readers), this book summarizes perfect
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Toni
Противно на написаното в книгата няма да използвам собствената си мисъл, за да обобщя това, което прочетох, а ще цитирам няколко неща, които са ми направили най-голямо впечатление досега:

"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." J.K. Rowling (said by Albus Dumbledore)
"Think. Believe. Dream. Dare." by Walt Disney
"Fear is a sickness. It will crawl into the soul of anyone who engages it. Strike it from your heart." from Apocalypto

Мисля, че тази книга е есеницята
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Yilin Wong
Such a good book.
I wasn't (and am still not) crazy about the first few chapters about his own life, but the following chapters are amazing.
I can't say everything in there is one hundred percent useful because some of them are long and don't really echo with my life, but he did bring up a lot of inspiring ideas, and those ideas fit perfectly with my experiences in life(only 21 years but still). And it articulated a lot of things which I have been doing unconsciously and did not realize that it ca
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Sahir Jafri
"Victory goes to the people who know what they want and are determined to have it. They have mastered the habit of drifting. They have definite policies, definite plans, and definite objectivies. Their opposition has no chance against them because the opposition has no plan, no purpose, no policy except that of drifting along, hoping that something may turn upto help them."
Jeff Wheeler
Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" is one of the classics that I try to read each year. When I heard about this book, an unpublished manuscript from 1938, I was intensely intrigued. Why would the author and his family withold a book for so long? It may have been more controversial back when it was written, but I found some of his criticisms of society to be rather far-seeing. It makes you wonder whether he really did have a conversation with the devil, but I think it was just an author's inve ...more
Voidal
One of the most lunatic and shitty books I read that I would need in life, this book disgusted me so much I'd rather burn my face in acid than reading this kind of book again.
Rob Lunn
A via negativa self-help map. Hills sets down how to get ahead but also what you need to avoid: mainly, to not be a drifter. The implication being that if you're not on your game, i.e., having definiteness of purpose and living without fear, you're just drifting and going in the other direction and digging yourself into a bigger hole.

While you can come away from other self-help books with a take-it-or-leave-it mentality (I could make my life better, but I can also wait until next year), Hill bri
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Ridgewalker
So Napoleon Hill wrote this book in 1938 and at his wife's request did not publish it. She saw the book as too controversial in it's criticism of religion and educational institutions. He died in 1970 and she passed in 1984. The book went to his foundation and the then presidents wife shared the same view as NH's wife and so the book remained unpublished until her death. She passed a couple of years ago and the book was finally published in 2011. It's a very cool story. For that matter, so is NH ...more
Harry Roger Williams III
I tremendously enjoyed this imaginative book in which – 76 years ago – Napoleon Hill recorded his “Interview with the Devil.” I took extensive notes and recorded many quotations. I’ll share a few to give you the flavor of the writing. For the Q&A the questioner is Hill and the answers are by the Devil. Who is this Devil anyway? p. 99-100: “You know that I exist only in the minds of people who have fears… You know that my hell is here on earth and not in the world that comes after death. And ...more
Kaiylah Muhammad
This is the GREATEST piece of literature I have ever read in my life! It caught my eye when I was at Barnes&Noble and I told myself I was only going to read a few pages, but I ended up reading 30 pages. I was HOOKED. Napoleon hill was way ahead of his time. He is so clever in his "interview with the devil" and he talks a lot about "drifters". A drifter is a person who permits himself to be influenced by circumstances outside of his own mind. "The devil" also spills his secrets on how he ente ...more
Natalie
This book struck a deep chord and changed my life from the day I read it. Written in 1938, it was held back from publishing because of fear of the contents (ironic since this book is about fear). I do wonder if my generation is more ready to hear this, and act, than my grandparents? It's also interesting to note the societal problems from back then have only gotten worse today. Great read; I'm sure to reread many times.
Jim
The work encapsulates Hill's personal and professional success philosophy. Those familiar with Dyer's intension/source writings, The Secret and the AA Big Book, which was written the same year as this book, 1939, will see all the same elements. Devil, however, delivers harsh yet warranted slams against the current state of public education and religion which may have accounted for it being kept off the market until now.
Miyan


I will summarize this book of a genius using Hill's own words:
"One's dominating desires can be crystallized into their physical equivalents through definiteness of purpose backed by definiteness of plans, with the aid of nature's law of hypnotic rhythm and time!"
I think that Hill truly believed that he was interrogating the devil through the "sixth sense" he mentions repeatedly throughout his book...
Carlos Effio
Este libro me es parecido al que publicó el Kabbalah Centre bajo el título, "Satán". Aunque los 2 son buenísimos y debemos leerlos para poder empezar a librarnos de los amarres de la religión, la sociedad, la familia, y la sociedad que no nos dejan pensar y actuar libremente para cumplir la misión para la cual nuestra alma vino al mundo, "Burlar al Diablo" da una visión más práctica de lo que nos ocurre desde antes que llegamos a este mundo, como nos preparan para entregarnos en las manos del "D ...more
Tyler Storm
This book is exactly what I needed

I have let too many anonymous people from various internet forums turn me into a serious debbie downer. This book really fixed my mood and character. So grateful to come across this book. Really helped me out a lot to change my mood and habits.

I would recommend this book to anyone. It's a very quick read you can probably finish it in 3 days if you really wanted to. I took meticulous notes while reading this book. Summary of this book is the power of the mind and
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Zachary Slayback
The content of the discussion with the Devil is enjoyable and inspiring and provides some interesting intellectual foils for thinking about inspiration, time, love, money, and more. I gave the book only 4 stars because of two reasons:
1) The opening section is used to give background to where Hill was one he interviewed the Devil, but is at least twice too long than is necessary and gets rather boring/repetitive
2) The marginalia from the editor is downright obnoxious. "I don't know about you! Bu
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Parcoast
I liked this book for several reasons. One, it was fairly quick. Two, his conversation with the devil added some depth to the text, as opposed to a text book explanation of what he had come to discover over his life. So why only 3 of 5 stars? Well, I may be over simplifying things, but I really can boil the main message down to three things: Have goals (be definite), create habits that support your goals, and don't drift--go after your goals. Yes, I understand that he gave us seven key points in ...more
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Napoleon Hill was an American author in the area of the new thought movement who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. He is widely considered to be one of the great writers on success. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time (at the time of Hill's death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold 20 m ...more
More about Napoleon Hill...
Think and Grow Rich Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude Law of Success: The 21st-Century Edition Master-Key to Riches Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement

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“Remember that your dominating thoughts attract,
through a definite law of nature, by the shortest and most
convenient route, their physical counterpart. Be careful what
your thoughts dwell upon.”
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“You are entitled to know that two entities occupy your body. One of these entities is motivated by and responds to the impulse of fear. The other is motivated by and responds to the impulse of faith. Will you be guided by faith or will you allow fear to overtake you?” 7 likes
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