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In 1947 Peale co-founded (along with educator Kenneth Beebe) The Horatio Alger Association.
This organization aims to recognize and honor Americans who have been successful in spite of difficult circumstances.
Ellis contends the Peale approach is dangerous, distorted, unrealistic.
He compares the black or white view of life that Peale teaches to a psychological disorder (borderline personality disorder), perhaps implying that dangerous mental habits which he sees in the disorder may be brought on by following the teaching.
Norman Vincent Peale (May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993) was an American minister and author (most notably of The Power of Positive Thinking) and a progenitor of "positive thinking".
His ideas were not accepted by mental health experts.
In 1945, Peale, his wife Ruth Stafford Peale and Raymond Thornburg, a Pawling, New York businessman, founded Guideposts magazine, a non-denominational forum for celebrities and ordinary people to relate inspirational stories.
Blanton did not allow Peale to use his name in "The Power of Positive Thinking" and declined to defend Peale publicly when he came under criticism.
The fact that the book has sold 5 million copies is printed on the cover of the current edition in both paperback and hard cover, and directly contradicts exaggerated claims that the book has sold more than 20 million copies Since then, the book has sold less than 3 million copies over the past 50 years.
Some of his other popular works include The Art of Living, A Guide to Confident Living, The Tough-Minded Optimist, and Inspiring Messages for Daily Living.
He continued calling at the White House throughout the Watergate crisis, saying "Christ didn't shy away from people in trouble." These critics appeared in the early 1950s after the publication of The Power of Positive Thinking.
One major criticism of The Power of Positive Thinking is that the book is full of anecdotes that are hard to substantiate.The two men wrote books together, notably Faith Is the Answer: A Psychiatrist and a Pastor Discuss Your Problems (1940).