The author of The Magic of Thinking Big (1959) isn't about to settle, even today, for thinking less than more--and, as motivational literature goes, this is loaded: maxims, rules, slogans, lessons, examples, positive reinforcement. . . delivered with vigor and enthusiasm. Schwartz, who does this sort of thing for a living, is forever running into people he's helped (How Elaine Discovered She Was A-OK at Age Forty-Five) or people connected to people he's helped (How Valerie's Mother Is Giving to Make Life Better for the Next Generation) or people helped by the golden rules he preaches (How Jim Profited When He Renewed His Commitment to Patricia). Like the soaps they resemble, Schwartz's exemplary tales aren't crass: everybody benefits. His self-promotion doesn't sound any more malign than Barnum's. His material is well organized and clearly presented. He has, in abundance, the common touch: ""Had Columbus decided to 'stay close to shore,' America might have remained undiscovered for another century"" (re risk-taking); we owe the interstates to FDR and Ike (re ""persistent patience,"" which Columbus also exemplifies). With persistent patience, you can make money, lose weight, beat booze, and conquer your fear of speaking up. There is some good sense here (and there), as well as some built-in politics (Poverty Is Poor People Who Lack a Dynamic Dream); mostly, though, this is sheer, irresistible humbug--except insofar as upbeat thinking does exert a push.