Book Review: Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill

“Be careful what you set your heart upon, for it surely shall be yours.” ~ Napoleon Hill

By Catherine Austin Fitts

Inviting the Devil in for a dialogue is something I am not inclined to do. You never know who or what may show up. Nevertheless, one of our most astute subscribers, knowing of my love for The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, strongly recommended I read Napoleon Hill’s discussion with the Devil titled Outwitting the Devil: The Secrets to Freedom and Success.

Napoleon Hill was an American author who published one of the most successful American self-help books ever—Think and Grow Rich—which has sold approximately 80 million copies since 1937. Based on his study of successful business and political leaders and research into thousands of case studies of individual success and failure, Hill attempted to define how achievement works and teach others how to apply practices that will lead to personal success.

Hill wrote Outwitting the Devil in 1938, immediately after publishing Think and Grow Rich. The manuscript was never published, as Hill’s family and advisors considered it too controversial. After Hill’s death in 1970, the manuscript became the responsibility of the Napoleon Hill Foundation. The Foundation finally published it in 2011, annotated by author Sharon Lechter.

On one hand, I am never quite sure what to think of Hill. He attributes the success of numerous tycoons to their hard work and industriousness, completely ignoring the covert realities of the central banking-warfare operations that contributed to their various successes. There are numerous case studies in both Think and Grow Rich and Outwitting the Devil that Hill uses as examples that I would describe as official realities that are simply not true—although I am sure the rich and powerful appreciated Hill’s affirmations.

Nonetheless, Hill generates some excellent insights and ideas that can help us over the obstacles in our path or the ones that we create for ourselves. We are in an invisible war—spiritual, legal, financial, and cultural—and much of what Hill has to say is quite useful. In my experience, though, the practices he promotes will be most effective when combined with a more realistic map of the risk issues that we are individually and collectively managing.

A special thanks to the subscriber “down under” who recommended Outwitting the Devil to me. My spiritual warfare toolkit needed inspiration and energy, and reading Hill’s edited manuscript certainly helped. I would love to have access to his 1938 unedited version, not to mention knowing what he might say about the Covid tycoons today.

I enjoyed Outwitting the Devil and upon finishing promptly instructed the Devil to leave the house.

Related reading:

Napoleon Hill
Sharon L. Lechter
Outwitting the Devil on Wikipedia

Buy the Book:

Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill