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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Illustrated) by [Mackay, Charles]
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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Illustrated) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

* Includes illustrations

The frequently quoted classic exposition of the madness and folly of "popular opinion". Extensive discussion about history's most infamous speculative investment bubbles - the Tulipmania, the South Sea Bubble, and more. Additional coverage and debunking of delusions including alchemy, witch-hunts, The Crusades and duels. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias, laud the chapters on economic bubbles.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2664 KB
  • Print Length: 410 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003I84MBO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,008 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Some fine reviews here, but my main point is how relevent this amazing book is even after 16-plus years! It's so well-written and current (up to the 1840's anyway), you could almost think it was written today! The tulip hysteria in 1640's Holland is so famous some recent novels have been written about it! But the 2 best parts are the Crusades, and the Witchhunting sections, both religious-based mass hysteria. In the author's introduction ,he states that religious hysteria and delusions are so numerous he can barely scratch the surface! And think what's happened since 1842! The book is a bit dense at times, but you'll be amazed at the mass delusions described, sometimes resulting in mass slaughter, notably in the "Crusades" chapter. But this book should be familiar to every educated person, and will always be a classic!
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book primarily for the chapters on financial delusions, the first 120 or so pages of 740 page book. The finacial manias are well covered, and provided very valuable historical information for anyone who owns any investmensts of any kind. The themes behind these delusions are very interesting, and you can see these problems repeating today.
The rest of the book provides some very good historical information about various other manias. It was interesting, and I read most of the other chapters which were very interesting, but it is a 740 page book and I found myself skipping over portions of some of the later chapters.
I really liked that this book was written over 160 years ago. It focused on parts of world history I did not know enough about and I am glad I own this now.
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Format: Hardcover
While this book is somewhat difficult reading, being written in Dickensian Olde English (and you certainly don't have to read all of it to get the point) it should be required reading for every college student. Enron employees, who sunk their entire life savings' into one stock, would've also benefited from a thorough reading of this. Luckily, if you're young and you haven't read this yet, you don't have to join the ranks of the 401k-less ninnies who bought into all the hype of the late nineties.
If you are like most of us, you probably had a cube-mate who fashioned him/herself as a "Wall Street wizard" at some point in 1998; you probably had a good laugh as you watched an E*Trade commercial from around that era where the TV-addled couch potato chooses his stock picks based on what's being marketed to him on TV. Personally, I recall one example where a co-worker invested the entire contents of his children's college fund on a single stock purchase, bragging about his profits from said transaction to everyone! Never mind the fact that he could have very well left Johnny and Jenny putting themselves through the local community college and living at home; this was 1998, after all - the "New Economy" was going to transcend all of the limits that 'unprogressive' thinkers had ascribed to all earlier versions of the economy. The question is: are you going to believe the mucky-muck hack/establishment economist at _Barron's_, or learn lessons from history? This book is for those who prefer the latter.
This book is really a classic in critical thinking. Having read this around age 19, I couldn't help but think that the "New Economy" was mostly a bunch of balderdash and that nothing can permanently transcend fundamental economic principles. In fact, the .
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By A Customer on Dec 28 2001
Format: Paperback
Mackay's catalogue of the human comedy,aside from the 1840 language,reads like any litany of contemporary idiocy.The book is long and sometimes dry,but the human,all too human desire to see our fellow mortals in their ignorance compels you to read on to the end.The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this book(or any book of history)is that the irrational is an unvanquishable aspect of the human psyche.Most of humankind can be likened to a windsock-led wily-nily by the latest fad,hype,consensus and collective madness whose outbreak is as inevitable as the turning of the globe.I wonder what Mackay would think of our mass media and pop culture,which lend themselves to massive hysteria,distortions and misinformation on an instantaneous and massive scale.The book is both funny and poignant.It makes you want to pity the human race for its inherent silliness.As many wise men have pointed out,humankind doesn't really change.The name of the fools who play the jester change;the fads,fashions and mass hallucinations change;the wallpaper and trinkets of life change,but the farce pretty much continues as before.If I didn't know any better I'd have to say the future holds much the same.
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Format: Hardcover
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds has been a favorite of mine for years, so while I'm happy to see it popularized, there's so much I miss! This is the first book of Urban Legends. There's so much to the book, and so much is so funny, and the financial stuff is the driest part of the book.
That said, I understand Fridson has a theme, and by using these two old works, one Victorian, and one Louis XIV, he shows that nothing much changes: people will do very stupid things if that's what everyone else is doing. More to the point, people will do very risky things with their money, if everyone else is doing so. Examples abound in these two great books, and Fridson doesn't miss a chance to make a point, and usually gets a good laugh in as well.
Tulipomania (when the price of tulip bulbs in Holland inflated beyond the ridiculous) is especially revealing, and though Fridson is using it to make a point about price inflation, I couldn't help thinking also about the marketing technique by which the public is convinced it needs something, then that something is doled out like Oreos to a diabetic. I'm thinking specifically of diamonds, but there are lots of examples.
Fridson pulls this altogether, and as big a fan as I am of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, the original work he has created by mating a part of it with the other work, and with his own explanatory text is a great book.
I am not an investor, and generally find economics petrifyingly boring, but this book was a fun romp. Even if you have no interest in finance, read this book just to have a good laugh at our species.
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