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Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds Paperback – July 25, 1995
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epackaging of the classic work about grand-scale madness, major schemes, and bamboozlement--and the universal human susceptibility to all three. This informative, funny collection encompasses a broad range of manias and deceptions, from witch burnings to the Great Crusades to the prophecies of Nostradamus.
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B. But be careful which of the many offerings you buy.
First off, many of the editions in Amazon are partial reprints of the original 1841 edition. Anything with 200 or so pages is badly incomplete. The book you want must have all 16 chapters.
Second, most of the print editions, especially those claiming about 400-odd pages, are complete, but have type so small as to severely limit your reading pleasure. You must understand there is no copyright protection for the original English author so anyone can rip it off, and to make the most money many of these "artists" try to print as few literal pages as possible. The two editions I have bought (in 1967 at a bookstore and 2003 on Amazon), both published in London, have about 700 pages, including the dozen or so original hand illustrations. This is the print edition you want.
Third, to solve the type-size problem, acquiring a Kindle edition can be a good answer. It can also be priced as cheaply as 99 cents or even 0. But beware of what it contains as well. When I clicked on the Kindle version of a complete 16-chapter print version (the one on which I am writing this review) it turned out that the free Kindle version was shorted to just a few chapters, which I was able to discover only after I downloaded it
Fourth, the completely independent book, Gustave Le Bon's "The Crowd", originally published in 1895 is equally worth reading.
You'll love both books; make sure you actually enjoy them and get the whole things, as well.
This is a great reference work for people interested in history, especially the history of economics, but I would recommend this to any reader for a fascinating look at a time when ripping off large numbers of people actually made you a social outcast (unlike the Bernie Madoffs, et al. of today).
1. It's a good guide to basic investing.
2. It's a good warning of the pitfalls that EVERYONE is likely to make investing, especially newbies or those who tend to follow the hype of the day.
3. It's an interesting perspective into how little has changed in 300 years - the schemes, the booms & busts, the irrationality that human beings STILL act on in the investment world are the replaying over and over of the same things described in these books.
If everyone had to read these in high school, we would not have the booms & busts that we do.
The Tulip Mania of the 1600 mirrors in every way what happened recently with the housing bubble bursting.
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