Over twenty years in the making, this book is a must read
for anybody who's ever been disturbed by destructive crowd
behavior or the horror of tyrannical rulers. Insights into
crowd psychology and the pathology of power are supplied
through a wealth of material from such diverse subjects as
anthropology, psychology, biology, religion, and literature.
However, what emerges is no mere dry academic treatise, but
an absolutely fascinating journey through topics such as the
rain dances of the Pueblo Indians, the finger exercises of
monkeys, and the hallucinations of alcoholics.
Even if you find yourself disagreeing with some of
the author's conclusions, you will still find yourself
looking at the world in new ways. For example, I will never
watch the public actions of an orchestra conductor without
trying to glean insights into the nature of power.
In short, this is one of those rare books which
makes old, dull things you've known for years suddenly stand
up in a whole new dimension.