This book made me think of The Incredible Hulk TV series.
In the pilot movie of that series:
David Bruce Banner, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician and scientist employed at the Culver Institute who is traumatized by the car accident that killed his beloved wife, Laura (played by Lara Parker). Haunted by his inability to save her, Dr. Banner, in partnership with Dr. Elaina Harding Marks (Susan Sullivan), who also works at the institute, conducts a study on people who, while in danger, summoned superhuman strength in order to save their loved ones.
It turns out there’s a term for such a thing: Hysterical strength.
Here, Marden wrote from very personal experience:
Marden’s parents died when he was young. He was passed through several foster homes, all of which were unkind to him, filled with the kind of pinched and frustrated person Ma Bailey turned into, in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life:
Aside from being physically beaten (sometimes for just being there) and half-starved, he was told repeatedly that he was a nobody who wouldn’t amount to anything. His “explosion” of untapped power came from chancing upon the book Self-Help by Samuel Smiles. It changed the entire trajectory of his life.
Marden had a sense of that himself. It’s probably also why the people in the foster homes had such miserable characters. They knew they had somehow cheated themselves and, without ever saying so, they grew envious of Marden’s youth and potential.
Published in 1922 and Marden could imagine tapping into the power of the atom:
This isn’t a how-to book so much as it is a find your damn life-changing opportunity book. It’s a tonic for those who haven’t yet found theirs.