My As A Man Thinketh Review is based on The Rubric.

I began reading As A Man Thinketh by James Allen on 12/19/2019 and finished on 12/28/2019. I reviewed it on 1/5/2020. #holidays

Check out my As A Man Thinketh Notes for my thoughts, including my favorite quotations, associations, and takeaways.

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As A Man Thinketh by The Rubric

As A Man Thinketh Review – Arguments


There is no solid argumentation presented in As A Man Thinketh by James Allen.

To be fair, Allen doesn’t claim the book to be anything it’s not. He states up front in this short, little treatment, that the book is about what he took from his meditation and experience. It’s not meant to be explanatory, or really anything else.

Still, this rubric is applied through the lens of what makes for a good business book. And while the definition of “business book” that’s used at Entreprising is rather broad (As A Man Thinketh was added to The List by recommendation in a business context), what’s being assessed is pretty specific.

Starting with argumentation.

And, there is little here in the way of argumentation.

So, unless you’re prepared to give Allen the benefit of every doubt, and assign him the authority to tell you things as he believes they are without questioning his logic, then what little of the argumentation is presented here will not be satisfactory in the least.

By The Rubric, As A Man Thinketh scored “It’s A Start” on average for argumentation.

As A Man Thinketh Review – Practicality


There is also very little in the way of practicality in this book.

The conclusions are mostly offered without sound premises or any logical association, but also without any “how-to” advice.

Allen states that we should take control over our own thoughts, but gives us no hope to do so. No instructions but maybe one or two in the entire book, but not sufficient to build the ideal life he writes about so eloquently in the last chapter.

Again, what might suffice as inspiration when applying another lens (such as a religious/spiritual lens) doesn’t work when you’re trying to implement specific skills by which to improve yourself and your life in the way of business.

By The Rubric, As A Man Thinketh scored “It’s A Start” on average for practicality.

As A Man Thinketh Review – Readability


This book was published in 1903, and its age does show throughout. The manner in which the author writes is very different from today’s texts, and so the score suffered a bit for it.

There were also some errors; although given how many reprints this book as been through, its hard to say if those were the authors or subsequent publishers/editors.

The organization of the overall book is okay, but from chapter to chapter there is a bit of meandering. Almost wandering of thought.

It’s good that this book is so short.

By The Rubric, As A Man Thinketh scored “Decent” on average for readability.

As A Man Thinketh Review – Enjoyability


Even agreeing with the author on much of what he concludes, it’s still hard to rate this book as enjoyable.

Instead, it hangs solidly in the “didn’t mind it,” category, with the caveat that there are some worrisome bits to it (detailed in the notes here).

It wasn’t much inspiring either in emotion or action; emotion because the concepts are not foreign, and action because there’s nothing actionable to the book.

It wasn’t much targeted; the book is written for everyone.

And it wasn’t quite interesting, again because it lacks novelty at this stage.

By The Rubric, As A Man Thinketh scored “It’s A Start” on average for enjoyability.

As A Man Thinketh Review – External Resources

Not Applicable.

This book didn’t score in the External Resources section as it was written before external resources would have been a reasonable thing to add to a book.

As A Man Thinketh Review – Rhetoric


Due to a lack of contextual/historical understanding of the author, the rhetoric score does not reflect points considering the author’s expertise and voice on the subject.

The book scored “It’s A Start” in terms of the audience; it’s a broad audience, and the audience who reads it has clearly taken something from it (given it is a beloved book).

And it scored “Excellent” for everything else regarding rhetoric; sponsorship, what it is promoting (nothing but the raw ideas presented), and the context of publication. I’m convinced this book was avant-guard at its publication.

By The Rubric, As A Man Thinketh scored “Excellent” on average for its rhetoric.

As A Man Thinketh Review – In Total


As A Man Thinketh is a beloved book, and one that is recommended for mindset for entrepreneurs in several places.

From Entreprising’s Rubric’s standpoint, however, it is not a book to study or even read more than once.

That I can recommend As A Man Thinketh from a business perspective is only because it takes so little time (and so little money) to get through, given how short it is.

And then you can count yourself as one who has read it, and hold your own in conversations where the title comes up.

Outside of wanting to be able to do that, there’s no value to reading this book when those few minutes could be spend reading a dozen other better titles for your purposes.

By The Rubric, As A Man Thinketh scored “It’s A Start” on average in total.