Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Volume 1
By (author) Charles MacKay
Format: Paperback / softback
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Volume 1 by Charles MacKay
Book DescriptionIn reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first. We see one nation suddenly seized, from its highest to its lowest members, with a fierce desire of military glory; another as suddenly becoming crazed upon a religious scruple, and neither of them recovering its senses until it has shed rivers of blood and sowed a harvest of groans and tears, to be reaped by its posterity. At an early age in the annals of Europe its population lost their wits about the Sepulchre of Jesus, and crowded in frenzied multitudes to the Holy Land: another age went mad for fear of the Devil, and offered up hundreds of thousands of victims to the delusion of witchcraft. At another time, the many became crazed on the subject of the Philosopher's Stone, and committed follies till then unheard of in the pursuit. It was once thought a venial offence in very many countries of Europe to destroy an enemy by slow poison. Persons who would have revolted at the idea of stabbing a man to the heart, drugged his pottage without scruple. Ladies of gentle birth and manners caught the contagion of murder, until poisoning, under their auspices, became quite fashionable. Some delusions, though notorious to all the world, have subsisted for ages, flourishing as widely among civilized and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated, -- that of duelling, for instance, and the belief in omens and divination of the future, which seem to defy the progress of knowledge to eradicate entirely from the popular mind. 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. To trace the history of the most prominent of these delusions is the object of the present pages. 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.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781595478696
Paperback / softback
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Imprint: NuVision Publications
Publisher: NuVision Publications
Publish Date: 8-Jul-2007
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Charles MacKay
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Paperback (April 2015)
Presents a study of crowd psychology and mass mania and a singular casebook of human folly throughout the ages. This title chronicles accounts of swindles, schemes, and scams on a grand scale. It also surveys controversial people and movements of the past: necromancy, Father Hell and Magnetism, Anthony Mesmer and Mesmerism, and the Crusades.
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Paperback (January 2011)
A wittily told collection of trends, fallacies and scams through the ages, from economic bubbles to a fashion for poisoning.
Some Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Paperback (August 2010)View all books by Charles MacKay
Describing bizarrely popular Victorian street slang, the madness of crowds, stock market mania (from the South Sea Bubble to Tulip fever), popular fashions, fads, crazes, schemes and scams, this study of human folly shows that we are always susceptible to hysteria and bamboozlement.
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