Memoirs Of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Charles MacKay's groundbreaking examination of a staggering variety of popular delusions, crazes and mass follies is presented here in full with no abridgements. The text concentrates on a wide variety of phenomena which had occurred over the centuries prior to this book's publication in 1841. Mackay begins by examining economic…
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1 author picked Memoirs Of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This is the oldest book on my list, a nineteenth-century compilation of lunacy of all sorts, with a focus on financial lunacy. Mackay aptly compares widespread mass delusions (think Nostradamus, or alchemy) to financial bubbles, including the frenzies surrounding the South Sea Company in England and tulip bulbs in Holland. Some scholars question the historical accuracy of Mackay’s stories, particularly about valuable tulip bulbs being accidentally eaten, but he has the money quote of all time regarding financial scandals: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they…
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