Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Charles Mackay
Read

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions is an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. 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. In later editions, Mackay added a footnote referencing the Railway Mania of the 1840s as another “popular delusion” which was at least as important as the South Sea Bubble. Mathematician Andrew Odlyzko has pointed out, in a published lecture, that Mackay himself played a role in this economic bubble; as leader writer in the Glasgow Argus, Mackay wrote on 2 October 1845: “There is no reason whatever to fear a crash”.
more
Impression
Add to shelf
Already read
1,004 printed pages
Self-Help & PsychologyPolitics & Society

Related booksAll

10Readers2Bookshelves
0Impressions
0Quotes

One fee. Stacks of books

You don’t just buy a book, you buy an entire library… for the same price!

Always have something to read

Friends, editors, and experts can help you find new and interesting books.

Read whenever, wherever

Your phone is always with you, so your books are too – even when you’re offline.

Bookmate – an app that makes you want to read
fb2epub
Drag & drop your files (not more than 5 at once)