Should you read: Think and Grow Rich : The 21st-Century Edition

Another giant of the “success” book genre, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is one of the most influential tomes in the wealth development sphere. I vaguely remember reading it when I was much younger, but this time I read the updated 21st century addition and it makes a whale of a difference. So, without further ado should you read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich: The 21st Century Edition?

Not only will we look at the difference between Think and Grow Rich 21st Century Edition vs the original publication from 1937, we’ll also look at all the other versions of Think and Grow Rich books that exist.

If you’ve already decided to get stuck in, you can buy it here:

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What are the different versions of Think and Grow Rich?

There are many many different versions of the book as shown in the second table below this table, but here is a summary of the most popular versions of the Think and Grow Rich series:

TitleSummary Link
Think & Grow Rich: THE 21st CENTURY EDITIONIn this updated edition, the editors Bill and Ann Hartley have provided commentaries on many passages of the original text and examples of many more successful people, some of whom were inventors, senators, leaders of business and strategy, and even presidents of countries. BUY
Think and Grow Rich:
The Original 1937 Unedited Edition
The only version of the book that the Napoleon Hill Foundation recommends. This edition is a reproduction of Napoleon Hill’s personal copy of the first edition, printed in March of 1937.BUY
The 5 Essential Principles of Think and Grow RichThis edition dives deeper into the 5 core secrets that have shown the greatest success.BUY
Think & Grow Rich: A Latino ChoiceWritten by Lionel Sosa under The Napoleon Hill Foundation this book shares Sosa’s inspiring story of achievement, as well as those of other respected members of the Latino community.BUY
Think and Grow Rich Action GuideThis workbook is designed as a companion to the best selling personal development book of all time – Napoleon Hill’s 1937 classic, Think and Grow Rich.BUY
Think and Grow Rich for WomenWritten by Sharon Lechter under the Napoleon Hill Foundation, this combines Hill’s classic Thirteen Steps to Success with case studies of noteworthy women.BUY
Think and Grow Rich in Ten Minutes a DayIn only ten minutes a day, you can begin to implement the success principles that have made more millionaires and top influencers than any other achievement philosophy.BUY
Think and Grow Rich: A Black ChoiceWritten by Dennis Kimbro under the Napoleon Hill Foundation, this book combines best selling author Napoleon Hill’s law of success with his own vast knowledge of business, contemporary affairs, and the vibrant culture of Black America to teach you the secrets to success used by scores of black AmericansBUY
Think and Grow Rich: For the Modern ReaderThis book provides a synopsis of the original 1937 text of Hill’s masterpiece, Think and Grow Rich. It extracts the key principles, instructions, and examples so that the modern professional, regardless of how busy he or she is, can benefit from the timeless wisdom found in Hill’s book.BUY
Think and Grow Through Art and MusicWritten by Randey W. Faulkner under the Napoleon Hill Foundation, this book is written for anyone who aspires to be or become a professional in the field of art and music.BUY

The book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill was originally published in 1937 and has since become one of the best-selling books of all time. The book is widely considered to be a seminal work in the personal development and self-help genres. Over the years, various editions and versions of the book have been released, including:

Version TypeDescription
Original 1937 EditionThis is the first edition, which laid the foundation for the book’s success. It contains the original text as written by Napoleon Hill
Revised EditionsThese are updated versions that may include modern language, additional commentary, or forewords by contemporary authors in the field of personal development.
Annotated Editions These versions include annotations that provide explanations, context, or interpretations of the original text.
Abridged EditionsThese are shortened versions of the original book, focusing on the key principles and eliminating some of the more detailed examples or discussions.
Illustrated EditionsThese versions include illustrations or graphical elements to help explain the concepts in the book.
Audio VersionThe book has been adapted into various audio formats, including audiobooks and podcasts, often narrated by well-known personalities.
E-Book EditionsAvailable in various digital formats, these are designed for reading on electronic devices like e-readers, tablets, and smartphones.
Special EditionsThese may be limited edition releases, often with a unique cover, high-quality printing, or additional material like interviews with successful people who attribute their success to the book’s principles
Foreign Language Editions“Think and Grow Rich” has been translated into numerous languages and adapted for various cultures around the world.
Workbook EditionsThese versions include exercises and worksheets to help readers apply the principles in the book to their own lives.
Summary EditionsThese are not editions of the book per se, but rather summaries that distil the key points into a shorter format.
Children’s EditionsAdapted versions aimed at younger readers, focusing on the foundational principles in a way that’s accessible to children.

Think and Grow Rich Original vs. Revised Edition: What are the Differences?

As you delve into Napoleon Hill’s profound work, you may wonder whether you should opt for the original 1937 edition or explore the revised and updated versions. We’ll navigate through the differences between these editions to help you make an informed choice.

Think and Grow Rich: A Brief Overview

Before we delve into the distinctions, let’s touch upon the essence of “Think and Grow Rich.” This renowned book by Napoleon Hill delves into the principles of achieving success, wealth, and prosperity through a disciplined and focused mindset. It’s a book that has impacted countless lives and continues to be a cornerstone of personal development literature.

The Original 1937 Edition: Staying True to Hill’s Vision

The original 1937 edition of “Think and Grow Rich” is where it all began. Authored by Napoleon Hill himself, this version encapsulates his core philosophy on success. Here are some key features of the original edition:

Timeless Wisdom: The original edition contains the fundamental principles of personal success that have stood the test of time. It’s unadulterated, presenting Hill’s ideas in their purest form.

Historical Context: Reading the original edition provides insights into the mindset and challenges of the 1930s, which can offer a unique perspective on the principles discussed.

Classic Language: Hill’s writing style in the original edition reflects the linguistic norms of his era, adding a certain charm and authenticity to the text.

Revised and Updated Editions: Adapting to the 21st Century

As we step into the 21st century, the world has evolved, and so has our understanding of success. Recognizing this, several revised and updated editions of “Think and Grow Rich” have emerged. Here’s what you can expect from these versions:

Contemporary Examples: The revised editions often include modern-day success stories and examples, making the principles more relatable to today’s readers. This can be particularly valuable for those seeking practical applications.

Expanded Content: Some revised editions may contain additional chapters or commentary by experts in the field of personal development, providing fresh perspectives on Hill’s teachings.

Language Modernization: The language and terminology in the revised editions are adapted to contemporary standards, making the content more accessible to a wider audience.

Which Version of Think and Grow Rich Is Best for You?

The choice between the original and revised editions ultimately depends on your preferences and objectives. If you’re a purist who wants to absorb Napoleon Hill’s unaltered wisdom and appreciate the historical context, the original 1937 edition may be your ideal choice. On the other hand, if you seek a more updated and relatable approach to the principles of success, a revised edition, such as the “Think and Grow Rich 21st Century Edition,” might be a better fit.

In conclusion, both the original and revised editions of “Think and Grow Rich” hold immense value. Whichever you choose, the key lies in applying the principles outlined in the book to your life’s journey towards success and prosperity.

Can you really think and get rich?

Well, yes and no. The core of the book is that success in any area of your life is based predominantly on your mindset, so over the books 368 pages Hill and the Editor share tips and tricks to developing the “correct” mindset. However, the mindset you develop is all about practically pursuing the goal. You need the thoughts to work to the goal, you need to work to the goal to have the thoughts, chicken and egg.

The first few chapters teach you how to become obsessed with your goal, how to make it all consuming, and how to make that goal your primary reason for living, and his methods for doing so are logically sound.

Similarly, Hill offers great advice about finding the motivation to slog through the hard times and offers numerous examples of successful people and explains how they did it. And, every single claim he makes about the power of the mind is backed up by some sort of study or breakthrough.

One of my favourite aspects of the book is Hill’s strangely trippy concept of “infinite intelligence” which is the idea that we can tap into every idea ever to find inspiration. He reasons that because everything is made up of matter and energy, then thoughts must be energy and our brains can access this energy and turn it into matter…maaan.

It’s strange to see Buddist, and Hindu ideals in a book written by a white American business man in the 1930’s and it adds a fun level of mysticism to a usually dry subject.

What’s bad about this book?

There are two real problems with the book; the first is the pseudo-academic way Hill writes, and the second is the nigh-religious way he suggests people achieve success. I’ll give you some examples.

Often Hill will make a bold claim about the power of the mind and will then offer a study that proves his view. However, he rarely cites exactly which journal he gets his information from, instead he use non-academic sources to illustrate his points on psychology.

Obviously his claims about how to use your mind to shape your perceptions of the world are, to some extent, accurate. But, to suggest that his ideas are facts without stating where he got his information feels a little dangerous considering much of his advice is essentially how to brainwash yourself.

Which brings me to the religious element of the book. Hill frequently states that unless you do exactly as he has written you will likely fail, which reminds me of the fire and brimstone minister in the pulpit casting shame and doom on the heathens. Like many religious leaders he uses the argument of “how do you know if I’m right if you don’t do exactly as I say?” Which is a false dichotomy and emotionally manipulative.


The differences between the original and the 21st century edition are night and day, with the updated version providing modern examples of Hill’s points and updating some of the more uncomfortable aspects of a book written in 1938. It’s really nice to look back on many of the ideas that have been built upon by the “success” community, and after reading this book it’s impossible to not take away anything from it.

Verdict: Buy it, read it every couple of years.

See our list of the Top 50 Books to help you to financial freedom



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