One Simple Idea: How the Lessons of Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Life

Mitch Horowitz (Author)


The power of positive thinking. It is an idea deeply rooted in American culture, from Oprah to The Secret to the mass-media ministries of Joel Osteen and T.D. Jakes. Yet no one has examined how this one simple idea--to think positively--has morphed from metaphysics into mass belief.

In One Simple Idea, Mitch Horowitz tracks the history of the positive-thinking movement from its pioneers to its most dramatic personalities, including Dale Carnegie and Norman Vincent Peale. Positive thinking has been the root of studies on the placebo effect, the 12-step approach to overcoming addition, and the mind-body connection in treating illness. And it is central to the American idea of success, as seen in political messages like Ronald Reagan's "Nothing is impossible" or President Obama's "Yes, we can" and slogans such as the U.S. Army's "Be all you can be" and Nike's "Just do it."

This paperback edition includes new exercises and methods, which readers can use to test the validity of positive-mind mechanics in their daily lives. One Simple Idea answers the age-old question--Does it work?--and shows that, yes, positive thinking can change the world.

Product Details

$16.99  $15.63
Skyhorse Publishing
Publish Date
May 03, 2016
6.0 X 1.1 X 9.0 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Mitch Horowitz is the author of "Occult America," which received the 2010 PEN Oakland/ Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. He is vice-president and editor-in-chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin books dedicated to metaphysical literature. He frequently writes about and discusses alternative spirituality in the national media, including CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, All Things Considered, "The Wall Street Journal," "The Washington Post," BoingBoing,, and


"[An] enlightening testament to the idea that a single thought can change the world. One Simple Idea is simply a brilliant book." --Deepak Chopra, M.D.

"This wonderfully inspirational book is filled with both practical and philosophical ideas that will help transform even the most fearful and distracted among us." --Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker

"This book is a liberation of the human spirit. The words contained in these pages are a mandate to us all to take the reins of our lives and make better choices moment to moment." --Barry Zito, pitcher, San Francisco Giants, three-time All Star and Cy Young Award winner

"A tour de force...One Simple Idea is a remarkable book."
--The Washington Times

--Publishers Weekly

"Horowitz is a fluid writer...And like Ronald Reagan, he's unembarrassed about the mystical side of positive thinking. Horowitz ends his book with a chapter titled 'Does It Work?' He says it does."

"Charts the long ascension of the mind-power movement...despite the mystical nature of many of its claims, the author contends, there is enough evidence that so-called New Thought philosophy is at least 'a little bit true' - and for believers, a little can go a long way."
--Psychology Today

"Thoughtful, well-researched...fascinating."
--The Christian Science Monitor

"Horowitz's book takes us far from naΓ―ve doctrines...convincing." -Paris Match