Top positive review
The book to have
July 21, 2014
This is a book to have in these days. You can clearly see after reading this that many people, countries included did not learn from their failures, and thus are doomed to repeat the same, sad, silly, useless mistakes. I occasionally buy copies of the book to hand out to my students where I work.
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