The Positive-Thinking Revolution - A Presentation by Mitch Horowitz

Can our thoughts shape our lives? From the essays of Emerson to the mega-sensation of The Secret, Americans have long been fascinated with the powers of the human mind – particularly the question of whether positive thinking can bring us wealth, health, and happiness.

In this lively and intellectually substantive presentation, author, lecturer, and Workmen’s Circle parent Mitch Horowitz explored the astonishing history and wide-ranging impact of the positive-thinking movement.

In particular, he discussed themes from his forthcoming book, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life (Crown, January 2014).

Mitch explored how this concept – the injunction to “think positively” – emerged from mystical American movements of the mid-nineteenth century (which sometimes blended with socialist and radical movements), and went on to become the most influential spiritual and psychological idea of our time.

Indeed, the power of self-belief has become the American creed, touching our religion, politics, economy, medicine, and our most deeply held feelings about ourselves.

Mitch made special note of how organized Judaism responded to the positive thinking movement, and the way its response reverberated across American life.

Mitch Horowitz is vice-president and editor-in-chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin books dedicated to metaphysical literature. He is the author of One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, forthcoming from Crown in January 2014.

His previous book, Occult America (Bantam, 2009), received the 2010 PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence.

Mitch frequently writes on and discusses alternative spirituality in the national media, including CBSSunday Morning, Dateline NBC, All Things Considered, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and He is online at: