The Science of Getting Rich

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The Science of Getting Rich
AuthorWallace D. Wattles
PublisherElizabeth Towne Company
Publication date
TextThe Science of Getting Rich at Wikisource

The Science of Getting Rich is a book written by the New Thought Movement writer Wallace D. Wattles and published in 1910 by the Elizabeth Towne Company. The book is still in print. According to USA Today, the text is "divided into 17 short, straight-to-the-point chapters that explain how to overcome mental barriers, and how creation, rather than competition, is the hidden key to wealth attraction."[1]

Historical context[edit]

This book is based on the Hindu philosophies that One is All, and that All is One (Page one of Preface). The Science of Getting Rich is based upon what Wattles called "the Certain Way of Thinking." According to Mitch Horowitz, the editor-in-chief of the Jeremy Tarcher imprint of Penguin Books, which reprinted The Science of Getting Rich in 2007, Wattles' "Certain Way" descended from the "mental healing movement" that had started earlier with Phineas P. Quimby in the mid-19th century. As Horowitz explained to a reporter from the Washington Post, after experiencing relief from physical symptoms of discomfort or illness through Quimby's mental strategies, people began to wonder, "If my state of mind seems to have a positive influence over how I feel physically, what other things can it do? Can it lead to prosperity? Can it lead to happiness in my home? Can it lead to finding love and romance?" One result of such questioning was Wattles's application of Quimbian "mental healing" strategies to financial as well as physiological situations.[2]

Wattles, who had formerly been a Methodist, ran for office as a Socialist candidate in Indiana in 1916.[3][4] He included the word science in the title, reflecting a secular approach to New Thought though also thereby borrowing from the then widespread popularity of Christian Science and its offshoots as he wrote about business prosperity, mind training, and success in the material world. The mental technique that he called "thinking in the Certain Way,"[5] was intended to establish a state of positivity and self-affirmation. According to Horowitz, mental healing and positive thinking theories for prosperity were joined by late 19th century trends such as Transcendentalism and a belief in the power of science and that "All these currents came together, and this philosophy that we call 'New Thought,' was born out of them. It's as American as an old-growth forest."[2][6]

The contents, with chapter titles like "How to Use the Will" and "Further Use of the Will" advance Wattles' concept of the "Certain Way.";[6] similar keywords about will power, mastery, and success are found in the writings of contemporary early 20th century authors Charles F. Haanel (The Master Key System), the Methodist minister Frank Channing Haddock (Power of Will, Power for Success, Mastery of Self for Wealth Power Success), and Elizabeth Towne (How to Grow Success). Towne published other books and magazine articles by Wattles:[7] The Science of Getting Rich (1910) is a companion volume to the author's book on health from a New Thought perspective, The Science of Being Well (1910) [8] and his personal self-help book The Science of Being Great (1911). All three were originally issued in matching bindings.


The Science of Getting Rich preceded similar financial success books such as The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel (1912) and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (1937). In the 100 years since its publication, it has gone through many editions, and remains in print from more than one publisher.[9][10]

The Science of Getting Rich was credited by Rhonda Byrne as one of the inspirations for her popular 2006 film and 2007 book The Secret.[11][12] As Byrne explained it on the web site of Oprah Winfrey, "Something inside of me had me turn the pages one by one, and I can still remember my tears hitting the pages as I was reading it. [...] It gave me a glimpse of The Secret. It was like a flame inside of my heart. And with every day since, it's just become a raging fire of wanting to share all of this with the world."[13][14]

The Science of Getting Rich was brought to worldwide attention via The Science of Getting Rich Network in 1999.

When Tarcher/Penguin reprinted the book in 2007, their initial print run was 75,000 copies.[1]

The continuing influence of The Science of Getting Rich is such that in addition to reprints and audio versions of the book itself, there are a number of web domains whose names are based on its title.[15]

The book is included in personal development scholar Tom Butler-Bowdon's list of "50 Success Classics" in his 2004 book of that name.[16]


  1. ^ a b Jacqueline Blais, Bob Minzesheimer and Carol Memmott (2007-04-06). "Book Buzz: Oprah weighs in, secret to 'Getting Rich'". USAToday. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  2. ^ a b Tara Burghart, The Associated Press (2007-06-23). "'The Secret' Draws on Long Tradition". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  3. ^ Cox, Ora Ellen (1916)How is this possible if Wattles died in 1911? "The Socialist Party in Indiana", in Indiana Magazine of History, June 1916, Indiana University, Dept. of History, p. 127.
  4. ^ Biographical note in Wattles, Wallace (September 1996). How to Be a Genius: Or the Science of Being Great. Health Research. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0-7873-0937-0., including "excerpts from a letter to Elizabeth Towne" by Florance Wattles, originally published in The Nautilus magazine, 1911
  5. ^ The Science of Getting Rich, chapter 8 (chapter title)
  6. ^ a b " - open source audio. The Science of getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles as read by Mike DeWitt". August 2007. Retrieved 2008-08-31. Wallace D. Wattles classic 1910 self-improvement book describes a Certain Way to think and act to get rich. These principles presage contemporary Law of Attraction books, using virtually identical methods.
  7. ^ Karen Kelly (July 24, 2007). The Secret of the Secret: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Runaway Bestseller (1st ed.). Thomas Dunne Books. p. 89. ISBN 978-0-312-37790-8. She [Towne] ran pieces by Wallace Wattles in almost every issue [of The Nautilus] during the early 1900s.
  8. ^ Wallace D. Wattles (1910). The Science of Being Well. Towne. wattles.
  9. ^ Wattles, Wallace D. The Science of Getting Rich or Financial Success through Creative Thought. Wheatmark, Inc. 2002 ISBN 978-1-58736-094-7
  10. ^ Wattles, Wallace D. The Science of Getting Rich. Tarcher. 2007 SBN-10: 1585426016. ISBN 978-1-58542-601-0.
  11. ^ Jerry Adler (2007-08-21). "Decoding The Secret". Newsweek. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
  12. ^ Vickery, Colin (2007-01-17). "The Secret life of Rhonda". Herald Sun.
  13. ^ "Spirit: Discovering the Secret". (The Oprah Winfrey Show). Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  14. ^ The Secret of the Secret: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Runaway Bestseller (2007) Kelly, Karen, Macmillan,ISBN 0-312-37790-8 p.13
  15. ^ Among the domain names with titles taken from this book are [access date 2008-08-31], [access date 2008-08-31], [access date 2008-08-31], [access date 2008-08-31] and [access date 2008-08-31]
  16. ^ "The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace Wattles, a commentary in 50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom For Work and Life from 50 Landmark Books (2004) Nicholas Brealey: London & Boston, pp. 282-287. ISBN 978-1-85788-333-6

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