- Paperback: 440 pages
- Publisher: Wilder Publications; Reprint edition (March 26, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1604594411
- ISBN-13: 978-1604594416
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 313 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,882,119 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds Paperback – March 26, 2009
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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.
One edition I have, when I originally bought the book in the early days of the market boom, before it went bust, had a foreword by Andrew Tobias who said "If you read nothing else in this book, read about the economic bubbles." (the South Sea Company bubble of 1711–1720, the Mississippi Company bubble of 1719–1720, and the Dutch tulip mania of the early seventeenth century). And he was right, when people were rushing off to buy stock at top dollar as they 'went public', I counselled many friends to look at what they were buying. One manager I knew got into the bubble mania and bought several thousand dollars of pre-IPO stock. Day one the stock jumps some 1000% in few hours (roughly it was $5.50 to start and $55 by the end of the day), and is lording it over everyone; 6 months later when he could sell it (according to contract) it was down to $2 and something a share.
This is book that should be on the shelf of every home library. From the Witch trials in Salem, to the Alchemists and other charlatans he shows us that the world is filled with people with who are always with the crowd and utterly mad.
"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." - Charles Mackay
"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." - Charles Mackay