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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay
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Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

by Charles MacKay

24 ratings, 4 reviews

Charles Mackay's Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, published in 1841, is the history of popular folly in three parts: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions". These break down into: economic bubbles, alchemy, crusades, witch-hunts, prophecies, fortune-telling, magnetisers (the influence of one's imagination in curing disease), shape of a person's hair or beard (in its influence on politics and religion), murder by poisoning, haunted houses, collective foolishness of great cities, popular admiration of great thieves, duels, and relics.

Given our current economic tribulations, the section on economic bubbles is especially pertinent. The section "tulipomania," in which tulips were the focus of massive speculation in Holland was also the focus of a section in Michael Pollan's book and documentary "Botany of Desire." This book is hilarious at parts, and is a keen insight into human nature and collective idiocy.

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Lily Fue

March 20, 2014

Wooow people good great!!

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Pen Guin

December 15, 2012

Awful!

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Kayla Reyes

June 01, 2012

Wow. Just wow.

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Estrelle Manayao

January 12, 2012

Good