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on February 20, 2008
This is a great, witty and well-written book studying human behavior from a literary reference point. Abounding in observation and psychological detail, it makes and explores many profound ideas on how humans are affected by crowds as well as popular accounts thereof. Hugely entertaining as well, one of my favorite excerpts is about shopping crowds and how they can simulate shark feeding frenzy. Anyone interested in reading about the range of human behavior in crowd contexts, including possible underlying mass psychosis, should also note the hypnotic qualities of crowd behavior annotated and described in this terrific book.
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on November 11, 2009
Crowds have been a subject of discussion since Plato and Aristote. The issues related to crowds are so vast as to include philosophy, politics, sociology, psichology, social psichology,governance, history, literature and art. This book is not just another study around Le Bon, Tarde, Freud and Canetti, but a real multidisciplinary project of international impact. The authors understood that crowds do not fit in just a printed letter book, so they worked also on the visual side of the project and the "multivoiced" character of crowds. This resulted in a reader with up to date studies on crowd, some of them with a real insight and originality; an album with a strong visual impact; a presence throughout the book, in lateral texts, of vignettes on the words used in different languages to signify crowds and also personnal accounts of what is to be in the middle of the crowd. It says a lot about the multilayered structure of this book that is it part of a Stanford Universty project that included an excellent internet site and an exhibition of "crowded" political posters. I do recomend this book to all students interested in crowds and all those who would like to verify how to do an excellent approach to a social history of visual documents.
Eduardo Cintra Torres, Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal,
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