Being away from home (due to circumstances beyond me) and therefore unable to ge

t my hands on the physical copy, I was a little unsure about the prospect of rev
iewing One Simple Idea remotely as it were. For me a book is a private intimate
event to be savored in absolute solitude in order for its core message to be fai
thfully delivered and received.
As such I have decided to wait until I have the chance to get up close and perso
nal with this special material, in order to write an additional comprehensive re
view that does the book and myself justice. For now I am content to contribute t
o this piece and also wholeheartedly endorse One Simple Idea as an important 'Me
taphysical title bringing to life ideas which, even in being narrated imparted t
o me a sense of magic, like the discovery of some mystical ancient scroll capabl
e of inspiring tangible practical human transformation.
A delight to listen to and for my mum an absolute joy to read.
The following commentary was written by Rosemary Akingbade (editing and addition
al notes by Kate Jegede)
Evocative, thought-provoking, gripping, enlightening, and inspiring are just som
e of the ways in which to describe this elegantly written eight chapter journey
through the historic world of Positive-thinking and Mind Power. Mitch opens with
Wish upon a Star, which acquaints us with the main characters of the drama and
pens the emergence of the Positive-thinking movement over 4 centuries. We hear a
bout Kant, Hegel, Darwin, Mesmer, Swedenborg, Quimby, Mary Baker Eddy, to name b
ut a few, this is a grand tribute to New Thought and New Ideas sweeping across A
merica, but we soon learn that these were World Ideas bubbling in the mind of ma
n. Many ideas originated in Western Europe but quite
quickly made its way across the waters to become the staple of the spiritual and
philosophical diet of many learned men and women. Mitch paints the picture of t
he landscape under the heading Mind Pioneers (p5-8), identifying all the compone
nts (people) and ingredients (ideas) that rendered the world ready for this revo
lution. Positive Thinking was born whether everyone liked it or not.
Having set the scene with true page-turning prowess, we move on to Positive Nati
on, Herein Mitch notes a positive attitude is considered a mark of ambition or ap
athy, effectiveness or ineptness, success or failure. and he delivers on these po
ints with aplomb mirroring current attitudes that While many embrace the idea th
at man s situation can get better, others firmly hold contrary beliefs. Furthermor
e, the proof of either would be seen in results. From Idealist Philosophers to p
resent day Physiologists the search for understanding the workings of the mind w
as on, This juxtaposition of ideas gave birth to two
distinct groups of thought familiar to us all, a phenomenon Mitch has skillfully
captured in this fact packed historical account of events. That said, the histo
rical meatiness of his writing takes nothing away from the pleasure of reading a
nd none of the drama or story is lost by a heavily factual tone. Rather, the rea
der is transported back and forth in time and is tempted to ask oneself to what
school of thought do I belong?
To Redeem Defeat by New Thought , the next chapter in the saga, plunges into the h
eart of the matter, its core message, Man s desire for something better. Although
much of this desire stemmed from a religious standpoint, it is clear that it beg
an in man s mind! The desire for health was the strongest desire but it soon revea
led the desire for freedom. The somewhat unexpected Woman s Hour Has Come charting t
rue emancipation and the birth of the powerful woman
is a welcomed surprise leading the reader to believe that Mitch has by no means
written some predictable textbook. Again, he shows his hand as a skilled storyte
ller attuned to the differing needs of his readership. With attention now turnin
g to prosperity; Mitch paints a feasible picture of the power of the mind taking
over man s every waking moment, indeed all areas of his life.
Chapter four shows real signs of positive thinking as a practicable philosophy a

nd presents its key themes in an easy take it or leave it style. The working clas
s man become the master class whenever they will begin to do things in a Certain
Way. Wallace D Wattles. Here the reader is introduced in earnest to the benefits
of New Thought and Positive Thinking, which, are expertly charted. Medical Progr
ess; Hidden Forces; God is not Poor ; Thoughts Are Things; The Conquest of Poverty;
Working-Class Hero; If the Workers of America Choose to ; Liberating Powers; Divine
Politics and The Law of Attraction all make the cut, and Mitch renders each top
ic palatable through a work infused with scholarly discipline. The result, an al
most unimpeachable depiction of this new revolution in the Mind of Man.
Fast forward and we meet the Happy Warriors, expertly selected like ingredients
in the worlds finest salad, affectionately referred as the Heartland Rebels
Dr R
ichard C Cabot; Rabbi Louis Witt; Bill Wilson and Bob Smith; Glen Clark; Ernest
Holmes; Christian D Larson; Roy Herbert Jarrett; Frank B Robinson and the Fillmo
res; Neville Goddard. A role call of "Metaphysical" rock stars that would excite
even the staunchest cynic. Mitch notes that Rabbi Louis Witt said, We
cannot hide these things from the world . New Thought and Positive Thinking was he
re to stay no matter what.
Enter Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich
and, Dale Carnegie How to Win Friends an
d Influence People. These two individuals put the final stamp on New Thought and
Positive Thinking. Their work saw the dissemination of this culture and philoso
phy in the hands of ordinary people, offering them a clear way to personal succe
ss. The American Creed was now, You Can If You Think You Can . Again Mitch discusse
s these new ideas under headings such as I Know, I know, I know ; The Untroubled Mi
nd; Spirited Communication; Apostle of Happiness; You Can if You Think You Can;
Ministry of Success; but, Mitch is a realist always noting oppositions to New Th
ought and Positive Thinking. About two thirds in and a with a a few centuries co
vered, One Simple Idea retains its coherence, cohesion, and ability to entertain
and surprise. New discoveries are being made and that which I new is within new
context made fresh and vibrant.
Incredibly easy to read, I find myself a little saddened that there are just two
chapters left as I settle into the the aftermath of the New Thought and Positiv
e Thinking revolution. Mitch introduces us to life during the adjustment period
and the dawn of charismatic purveyors such as Earl Nightingale, who leads us int
o present day beliefs and practices. The proof of the success of New Thought and
Positive Thinking is presented here as day to day life practices cascading down
from the good and the great to the want to be everyday man. Much of this account
by Mitch is lighthearted even comical at
times, he deals with topics such as: If You Want More Money ; Positive Heresy?; Prai
se the Lord for this Car ; I Don t Believe in the Judgmental Gospel ; Gaming The System
; Tragedy in Sedona; A Simple Man; and Prove It. Again the sensitivity and schol
arship of Mitch shine through in this chapter.
The question then is, how do you bring together a 400 year record of positive th
inking and mind power? You ask, Does It Work? I have to use a long quote from Mi
tch s book at this point because I think it says it all under this chapter.
From the earliest experiments of Phineas Quimby up through the popularity of The
Secret, the movements of mind-power metaphysics have south to explain evil, suff
ering, and illness as an illusion
as the result of an individual s inability to un
derstand and experience the ultimate reality of the universe: a beneficent, crea
tive intelligence whose divine inflow permeates all of life. Evil is said to app
ear like darkness in a room once the light is blocked out.
When life is views from this perspective, a person visits hardship, disease, or
catastrophe upon himself through wrong thoughts and flawed self-conception.
Sensitive propels rightly object; How could such a notion possibly account for t
he victims of mass murder, infant mortality, and natural disaster? And, on an in

timate level, what mature person has not witnessed a life extinguished, even in
surroundings of hope and love? No movement can aspire to moral seriousness witho
ut convincingly resolving such questions . Mitch Horowitz
His final comments under the heading The Positive-Thinking Revolution, he writes
The founders of New Thought and affirmative thinking created a fresh means of vi
ewing life, one that was rough and incomplete, rife with mistakes and dead ends,
but also filled with possibility and practical application. These pioneers, who
se work commenced only in the latter half of the nineteenth century, began an ex
traordinary conversation and experiment about the power of thought to shape the
experience of the individual. There exists inauthentic and efficacious beginning
to their ideas, which remain relatively new. In that sense, the positive-thinki
ng movement created the genuine and still-unfolding Reformation of the modern se
arch for meaning for which William James had hoped . Mitch Horowitz
Rosemary Akingbade
One Simple Idea is a scholarly triumph that manages to excite - despite its bein
g a factual text - in the way a world class thriller would. Whatever one's perso
nal beliefs concerning positive thinking, the factual evidence is so beautifully
and comprehensively presented that it cannot be dismissed. Mitch's voice and wr
iting style provide a backdrop to this oftentimes controversial topic of discuss
ion, resulting in a book that can and will stand up to scrutiny. Action packed a
nd alive, what one knows about the positive thinking movement quickly becomes wh
at one thought one knew thanks to its scintillating contextual craftsmanship. In
telligent, educational, and always fun, One Simple Idea delivers. It promises to
illustrate the demonstrable impact of the positive thinking movement and it doe
s just that. A litany of historical figures forge a seamless tapestry of forebea
rs whose inspiration from generation to generation can be
clearly seen right up to the present day, A must read.
Kate Jegede