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Confident Liver: 1948

Confident Liver: 1948

Chicago circa 1948. "Dr. Norman Vincent Peale." Celebrity clergyman whose 1948 page-turner, A Guide to Confident Living, was but a preface to his greatest hit, 1952's The Power of Positive Thinking. 4x5 acetate negative from the Shorpy News Photo Archive. View full size.


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Flaws are in the eye of the beholder

robb moffett, I agree with your statement that no one is perfect. We do a great injustice by insisting, by our current standards, that our heroes have no flaws and our villains have no redeeming qualities.

The way I read the comments before yours -- for decades the Rev. Dr. Peale used his celebrity and influence as a minister and an author to support the Republican party. To Republicans, this is not a flaw at all. But Rev. Dr. Peale's support was never extended to Democrat presidents, most notably Jimmy Carter, President between Nixon and Reagan. By any measure Jimmy Carter was and is a truly religious man. But Carter still did not have the Rev. Dr. Peale's support. To me, this is a flaw for a religious leader who likes to endorse, or not endorse, presidential candidates.

Yes, for years President Obama attended a church that had a minister you don't approve of. But I fail to see any valid comparison between that minister, Louis Farrakhan, and the Rev. Dr. Peale. Only one of those three men regularly visited the White House for decades and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (curiously, from Reagan, a president who rarely went to church). I cannot find where Obama gave Louis Farrakhan a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Peale may have had flaws but his book is still wonderful.

I like Dr. Peale, or I should say I like his book on positive thinking. I think he did a wonderful thing by encouraging so many people to be positive and optimistic. I am saying that as a lifelong pessimist who has only in his later years learned to be more optimistic and positive.

By reading the comments some people want us to know about the negative aspects of Dr. Peale's life. I would like to know the name of the person they think is perfect. People that do not like President Trump say bad things about Dr. Peale. Guilt by association. On the other hand, I doubt if those same people ever make any criticisms of President Obama's Rev. Wright. I seem to remember the church that President Obama spent 20 years attending that he hand-picked and gave a lifetime achievement award to Minister Louis Farrakhan who preaches in his church that blue-eyed white people are devils. Nobody's perfect. However, I know which church I would've preferred to attend.

[President Obama never gave Farrakhan any kind of award; the award was given by a magazine affiliated with a church that Obama attended. Obama issued a statement that criticized the magazine's decision to present the award. -Dave]

What bookstore?

If this is indeed Chicago, then the most likely candidates for the booksigning are either Kroch's or Brentano's, which, in 1948, were both owned by the same man, Adolph Kroch, and both stores were on Chicago's State Street within a couple of blocks of each other. In 1954, the names were merged as "Kroch & Brentano's," and the store at 29 State Street became the largest single bookstore in the world. And a great one it was.


But since I was only a year old in 1948, I can't tell from the picture exactly _which_ bookstore. I hope someone else can.

Maybe he came by it honest

I did not know the Rev. Dr. Peale was Donald Trump's boyhood pastor. But now that I do I wonder if the Rev. Dr. Peale also referred to the second book of Corinthians as Two Corinthians?

Political Quotation

During the 1956 presidential campaign, Adlai Stevenson said, "Speaking as a Christian, I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the apostle Peale appalling." He said this in response to a reporter telling him Dr. Peale felt Mr. Stevenson wasn't fit to be president due to him being divorced.

And Dr. Peale, I'm sure, wasn't as appalling as Mr. Stevenson claimed. His most famous book, "The Power of Positive Thinking" sold 5 million copies and was translated into over 40 languages. Apparently, there were many who found Dr. Peale appealing and helpful.

[Actually TPOPT has sold around 20 million copies. - Dave]

Defining Peale

When I was in seminary in the late '60s one of my profs defined Peale like this:
"Paul is appealing; but Peale is appalling."

Beats an irritable bowel hands down

I read "Power of Positive Thinking" forty years ago, you can still do a lot worse.

When Godly Met Bigly

The Rev. Dr. Peale was Donald Trump's boyhood pastor.

The esophagus

... of course, we now know to be the seat of self-determination.

Strange connections

Peale, like his contemporary Fulton Sheen and Billy Graham after him, publicly projected a smiling, complaisant version of faith with wide appeal.

Though more cautious than Graham, Peale couldn't resist mixing in politics even after getting burned: in 1960, he opposed John Kennedy, saying that "faced with the election of a Catholic, our culture is at stake." (He retracted that statement under strong criticism.) He was cultivated by Richard Nixon and given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan.

And guess who attended Peale's 90th birthday celebration!

Peale was Positive

That JFK (because he was a Catholic) and Adlai Stevenson (because he was divorced) should not be President.

A Guide to Confident Living, or ...

How To Pick Up Chicks! The one adoring fan standing behind the good doctor is about ready to give him the key to her room! For that matter, so are the other two!

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