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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
     

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

3.4 38
by Charles Mackay
 

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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a landmark study of crowd psychology and mass mania and a singular casebook of human folly throughout the ages. Chronicled here are accounts of swindles, schemes, and scams on a grand scale. Other chapters deal with fads and delusions that have sprung from ideas, beliefs, and causes that still have

Overview

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a landmark study of crowd psychology and mass mania and a singular casebook of human folly throughout the ages. Chronicled here are accounts of swindles, schemes, and scams on a grand scale. Other chapters deal with fads and delusions that have sprung from ideas, beliefs, and causes that still have champions today: the prophecies of Nostradamus, the coming of comets and Judgment Day, the Rosicrucians, and astrology. The book also surveys controversial people and movements of the past: necromancy, Father Hell and Magnetism, Anthony Mesmer and Mesmerism, the Crusades, sorcery and the burning of witches, not to mention the popularity of murder by slow poisoning.


About the Author:

Charles Mackay (1814-1889) was a Scots journalist, author, and songwriter who was born in Perth and educated in London and Brussels. He published a Dictionary of Lowland Scotch and several volumes of verse, and also wrote several hit songs, including one ("The Good Time Coming") that sold 400,000 copies in 1846. Mackay also held a doctorate in literature and had an extensive career as a journalist.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517539194
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/13/1980
Pages:
752
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 9.06(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Mackay (1841-1889) was born in Perth, Scotland. His mother died shortly after his birth, and his father, who had been in turn a Lieutenant on a Royal Navy sloop (captured and imprisoned for four years in France) and then an Ensign in the 47th foot taking part in the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition where he contracted malaria, sent young Charles to live with a nurse in Woolwich in 1822.
After a couple of years' education in Brussels from 1828-1830, he became a journalist and songwriter in London. He worked on The Morning Chronicle from 1835-1844, when he was appointed Editor of The Glasgow Argus. His song The Good Time Coming sold 400,000 copies in 1846, the year that he was awarded his Doctorate of Literature by Glasgow University.
He was a friend of influential figures such as Charles Dickens and Henry Russell, and moved to London to work on The Illustrated London News in 1848, and he became Editor of it in 1852. He was a correspondent for The Times during the American Civil War, but thereafter concentrated on writing books.
Apart from Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, he is best remembered for his songs and his Dictionary of Lowland Scotch.

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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Ferguson More than 1 year ago
What an excellent read. I first became interested in this book when Sam Harris referenced it in his book, End of Faith. The book gives horrific descriptions of the inexplicable madness of people throughout the ages, and I enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
All to be repeated in our time. Witch hunts, fads and financial meltdowns.
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