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Ponzi Schemes, Invaders From Mars & More: EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS AND THE MADNESS OF CROWDS Paperback – August 25, 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 437 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1st edition (August 25, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517588307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517588307
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,542,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "repeatonceagain" on August 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds" by Charles MacKay is an amazing book that stands the test of time (having been first published in 1841). After all this time we have certainly had our share of more madness. Thankfully, Joseph Bulgatz thought it was time for a sequel.
He does an excellent of job discussing much madness that is critical to understand our world today. There are chapters on Ponzi Schemes, The Florida Land Boom, Soccor, Lotteries, Musical Madness, and an issue seemingly always threatening our world: War. The exploration of cults is especially important in my opinion because Charles MacKay refused to discuss religous madness in the origional book.
Even the chapters that don't seem as relevant to us today: Invaders From Mars (which discusses the famous Orson Welles "War Of The Worlds" broadcast), The Destruction Of The Xhosas, Dowsing, and Perpetual Motion are still critical for understanding how absurd crowds can get.
I especially enjoyed the part of the book that focused on the Tulipmania and a similar madness that went on in the same country just a hundred years later. (Proving that people often do not learn important lessons, even if separated by just a couple generations.) The great thing is that these manias have about 40 pages dedicated to them whereas in the origional book, the Tulipmania only had about 9 pages concerning it. It's a facinating topic and I don't think its too far removed from us as just a few years ago I remember some pundits referring to the "Internetmania", which might be written about in the next sequel a hundred years from now.
We should all realize "There is nothing new under the sun, that which has been will be." We can then begin to open our eyes and realize that things just as strange as these cooky events from the past are going on all around us even if we don't realize it.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful By DJ MichaelAngelo on February 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had such high hopes for this book. I even bought a used copy here on Amazon because I was so sure I'd love it. (This is something I never do - I'll usually ALWAYS read a book at least once before I plunk down the money to purchase it.) Wow, what a mistake that was. The subject matter is so darn interesting, and so fun to think about. But the book was just ruined by the boring-as-mashed-potatoes prose of the author. Sentences felt like paragraphs. Brittle, careful, boring writing plagued almost every chapter of the book. Call me a simpleton, but I like the easy accessible writing style of, for example, the "Real Estate For Dummies" book, or Stephen King, etc. This chore of a dissertation read more like a textbook or educational thesis. If you enjoy reading academic journals for fun, and don't mind big words, long sentences, and stuffy language, then by all means - buy this book. But if you're like me and just looking for a fun read that's entertaining, easy to digest, and doesn't require a masters degree in English, then pass this one by.
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