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Memoirs of extraordinary popular delusions.

Stock Code 109122

London, Routledge, 1892

Original price $374.00 - Original price $374.00
Original price
$374.00 - $374.00
Current price $374.00
A classic account of popular follies and the madness of crowds and an important early work of social psychology.

In the preface it is stated "The object of the Author in the following pages has been to collect the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes". The chapters on the financial fads, are still considered crucially important even today. The Financial Times rated it second among the top ten greatest books on investment ever published. Since its first publication in 1841 it has seldom been out of print. Bernard Baruch wrote a new forward in the 1932 edition, stating that it had saved him in 1929, getting him out shortly before the market crashed. Mackay could never have foreseen how his examination of mass hysteria in the various bubbles -- tulipomania, John Law, and the South Sea -- would take on a life of its own, and commence a new field of study, the behaviour of the crowd, which would later on be revisited by Le Bon, Freud, Trotter, and Canetti. In other chapters Mackay vividly describes crusades, fortune telling, slow poisoners, witch hunts and a variety of religious cults.

The author Charles Mackay (1814-1889) worked as a journalist for many years in London and North America contributing to the Telegraph and the Times. His journalistic skill can be seen in his lively portraits of imposters, thieves, quacks, pseudo-scientists, gamblers and fraudsters.

2 vols in 1, 8vo., viii, 303; vi, 322 pp., illustrations in the text, some foxing to title and occasionally elsewhere, contemporary calf gilt, marbled sides and edges, a good copy.

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