Think and Grow Rich was written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill, promoted as a personal development and self-improvement book. Hill writes that he was inspired by a suggestion from business magnate and later-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. While the book's title and much of the text concerns increased income, the author insists that the philosophy taught in the book can help people succeed in any line of work, to do and be anything they can imagine. First published during the Great Depression, at the time of Hill's death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies, and by 2015 over 100 million copies had been sold worldwide. It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill's books. BusinessWeek magazine's Best-Seller List ranked it the sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published. Think and Grow Rich is listed in John C. Maxwell's A Lifetime "Must Read" Books List.
The text of Think and Grow Rich is based on Hill's earlier work The Law of Success, said to be the result of more than twenty years of study of many individuals who had amassed personal fortunes.
Hill studied their habits and evolved 16 "laws" to be applied to achieve success. Think and Grow Rich condenses them, providing the reader with 13 principles in the form of a "Philosophy of Achievement". Mark Hansen has said time has shown that two of the laws/principles are most important: 1) The MasterMind principle/process and 2) "Know very clearly where you want to go."
The book asserts that desire, faith and persistence can propel one to great heights if one can suppress negative thoughts and focus on long-term goals.
Earl Nightingale co-created with Napoleon Hill a 30-minute audio summary of the book titled "Think and Grow Rich: Instant Motivator".
. The first edition of Think and Grow Rich was released in March 1937. Hill claimed that despite limited promotion, the original print run of 5,000 sold out in six weeks, at $2.50 a copy, and that another 10,000 copies sold out again in another six weeks. The third print run totaled 20,000. W. Clement Stone wrote: "One of the most important days in my life was the day I began to read Think and Grow Rich in 1937.
. Think and Grow Rich was revised in 1960, and published by Crest Book, Fawcett Publications. The revised edition had a testimonial from W. Clement Stone on the inside front cover page: “More men and women have been motivated to achieve success because of reading Think and Grow Rich than by any other book written by a living author.” In 1987, Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton hosted a TV infomercial that sold the 1960 version with an audio cassette version of the book (the audio cassettes contained an introduction and conclusion by Tarkenton and supplemental study guides). In the introduction, Tarkenton stated that he believed Think and Grow Rich to be "the greatest most honored formula for success that has ever been developed."