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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Illustrated)
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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Illustrated) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Mackay
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Why do otherwise intelligent individuals form seething masses of idiocy when they engage in collective action? Why do financially sensible people jump lemming-like into hare-brained speculative frenzies--only to jump broker-like out of windows when their fantasies dissolve? We may think that the Great Crash of 1929, junk bonds of the '80s, and over-valued high-tech stocks of the '90s are peculiarly 20th century aberrations, but Mackay's classic--first published in 1841--shows that the madness and confusion of crowds knows no limits, and has no temporal bounds. These are extraordinarily illuminating,and, unfortunately, entertaining tales of chicanery, greed and naivete. Essential reading for any student of human nature or the transmission of ideas.

In fact, cases such as Tulipomania in 1624--when Tulip bulbs traded at a higher price than gold--suggest the existence of what I would dub "Mackay's Law of Mass Action:" when it comes to the effect of social behavior on the intelligence of individuals, 1+1 is often less than 2, and sometimes considerably less than 0.


"This classic and still relevant study contains important messages that apply to investor's behavior today."

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1454 KB
  • Print Length: 114 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0486432238
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003I84MBO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,646 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is my kind of book Oct. 11 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I chose this rating because although this was originally written in 18 something, I could understand it.
It can also be related to the issues of today. For example, CNN is a propaganda news station. It feeds the people negative garbage news and implements fear into their minds. This book delves into the psychology of how the people (or should I say sheeple) follow the hysteria and become hysterical themselves because its the "new norm" and God forbid, should you go against the grain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Table of Contents Jan. 4 2013
By Mary Beth - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If the delivered product does not contain a TOC, do NOT advertise it on the Amazon site. A book of this type is difficult to read as not include a TOC is ridiculous, even at .99 cents.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing changes but the clothes. Jan. 7 2014
By B. J Wren - Published on
Verified Purchase
Have read this book several times over the years. It always amazes me that few will admit that the emperor is naked.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Learned a lot and enjoyed it. June 28 2013
By Annie - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy to read overview of history gave me a broader perspective on present day events. I would recommend it for anyone seeking insight on where we came from. Sometimes redundant as various chapters overlap but overall well worth the time invested!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Aug. 15 2013
By Customer Review - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
History repeats itself, making this book well worth reading. Financial scams recur because people don't remember the past.

To quote John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist: "There's nothing unique about this. It is something which happens every 20 or 30 years because that is about the length of the financial memory. It's about the length of time that it requires for a new set of suckers, if you will, a new set of people capable of wonderful self-delusion to come in and imagine that they have a new and wonderful fix on the future."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic work May 30 2013
By Douglas D. Love - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A classic work on economics and group psychology. If you find yourself bucking the current political trends and seeming to believe that what is taken as popular gospel seems to have no substance then this book is for you. Long before there was a science of psychology, Mackay examined Tulipmania and the South Sea Bubble in an attempt to discover why so many rational people acted so irrationally. His findings became the basis for many of the theories of group dynamics and mass psychology. A must read.
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Popular Highlights

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Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one. &quote;
Highlighted by 121 Kindle users
confidence, like mistrust, could be increased, almost ad infinitum, and that hope was as extravagant as fear. &quote;
Highlighted by 34 Kindle users
Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. &quote;
Highlighted by 32 Kindle users

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