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DIVClassic survey of crowd psychology takes an illuminating, entertaining look at 3 historic swindles: "The Mississippi Scheme," "The South-Sea Bubble," and "Tulipomania." Essential reading for investors. /div
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay, first published in 1852, is a rare manuscript, the original residing in one of the great libraries of the world. This book is a reproduction of that original, which has been scanned and cleaned by state-of-the-art publishing tools for better readability and enhanced appreciation. Restoration Editors' mission is to bring long out of print manuscripts back to life. Some smudges, annotations or unclear text may still exist, due to permanent damage to the original work. We believe the literary significance of the text justifies offering this reproduction, allowing a new generation to appreciate it.
Excerpt from Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions. The essay begins: "The belief that disembodied spirits may be permitted to revisitthis world, has its foundation upon that sublime hope of immortality,which is at once the chief solace and greatest triumph of our reason.Even if revelation did not teach us, we feel that we have that withinus which shall never die; and all our experience of this life butmakes us cling the more fondly to that one repaying hope. Butin the early days of "little knowledge," this grand belief became thesource of a whole train of superstitions, which, in their turn, becamethe fount from whence flowed a deluge of blood and horror. Europe, fora period of two centuries and a half, brooded upon the idea, not onlythat parted spirits walked the earth to meddle in the affairs of men,but that men had power to summon evil spirits to their aid to work woeupon their fellows. An epidemic terror seized upon the nations; no manthought himself secure, either in his person or possessions, from themachinations of the devil and his agents. Every calamity that befellhim, he attributed to a witch."
This edition represents an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay. The book chronicles its subjects in three parts: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions". MacKay was an accomplished teller of stories, though he wrote in a journalistic and somewhat sensational style. The subjects of Mackay's debunking include alchemy, crusades, duels, economic bubbles, fortune-telling, haunted houses, the Drummer of Tedworth, the influence of politics and religion on the shapes of beards and hair, magnetisers (influence of imagination in curing disease), murder through poisoning, prophecies, popular admiration of great thieves, popular follies of great cities, and relics. Present-day writers on economics, such as Michael Lewis and Andrew Tobias, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles. Scientist and astronomer Carl Sagan mentioned the book in his own discussion about pseudoscience, popular delusions, and hoaxes. Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter.
A study of crowd behavior includes two landmark books of the past, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds and Confusions de Confusions, that show how markets are shaped by the fluctuations of mob psychology. Reprint.
A complete repackaging of the classic work about grand-scale madness, major schemes, and bamboozlement--and the universal human susceptibility to all three. This informative, funny collection encompasses a broad range of manias and deceptions, from witch burnings to the Great Crusades to the prophecies of Nostradamus.

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