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Comment: PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -USED GOOD- This book has been read and may show wear to the cover and or pages. There may be some dog-eared pages. In some cases the internal pages may contain highlighting/margin notes/underlining or any combination of these markings. The binding will be secure in all cases. This is a good reading and studying copy and has been verified that all pages are legible and intact. If the book contained a CD it is not guaranteed to still be included. All items are packed and shipped from the Amazon warehouse.
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The Ordeal of Change Paperback – June 6, 2006

4.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

He seems like a being who had just emerged from unknown depths, startled, overjoyed at what he saw about him -- Eric Sevareid, broadcaster, journalist

From the Publisher

Eric Hoffer--philosopher, author of the timeless tome The True Believer, and a truly great American thinker--gets to the essence of mankind through the ages in The Ordeal of Change.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Hopewell Publications (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933435100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933435107
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Eric Hoffer is a remarkable individual, a self-educated philosopher and original thinker. He made an incredible impact years ago with his first book, The True Believer, which became a cult classic. A generation later, it has been (temporarily) forgotten, along with his second book, which never received the recognition it deserved. The Ordeal of Change relates how human beings deal with change in a series of essays that are both easy to relate to, meaningful to academics and lay people alike, and reflective of scholarship and common-sense. Why are we both attracted to and afraid of change? Hoffer's very readable book answers these questions in understandable and well-grounded terms. I have recommended this book to a dozen executives who have had to deal with resistance to change in their organizations, and somehow never came across this remarkable work by a San Francisco longshoreman who is a rival as a thinker to the best of more recognized intellectuals. Surprise someone whose mind you admire and wish to challenge with this as a gift, and do yourself a favor, proving that you can compete in the world of ideas. I didn't get my copy back from the last person I loaned it to, and can't remember who it was, so I have to buy a second copy of one of my all time favorites.
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Format: Hardcover
This work contains a mixture of autobiography and philosophical and social reflection. Hoffer wrote ," My writing grows out of my life, just like a branch out of a tree" And his lifelong journey in learning was really integral to his own life. He began reading Montaigne and spent a lifetime reading more and learning all the time. He makes it clear here that he like most human beings fears change, but understands that to truly thrive from change one must learn, understood that those who rely on what they have learned long ago will have the world pass them. In other words he recommended that Societies like individuals be engaged in a continual process of learning and developing.

Hoffer was a one- of - a kind original. A truly decent person, who walked to the sound of his own drummer. Admirable in his anti- totalitarian stance and his refusal to be cowed by intellectual trend or fashion. He was a believer in American freedom , and an example of what a free - society can produce- at its best.
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Format: Paperback
Hoffer's essays are the best I have ever read on sociology. They are short, well organized and provide the deepest understanding of human nature. I hardly remember a thinker which could compete with Hoffer in this field.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although Eric Hoffer wrote in the sixties, his observations have remained timeless and spot on for truth. I highly recommend this short, terse book for anyone. His other books are equally fasinating and provide great insights. That Eric Hoffer was a longshoreman who writes well and profoundly is another added benefit for all those who suffer under the delusion that wisdom comes only from an ivory tower. I made this purchase now only because all my copies of Hoffer had been aged, torn, coffee stained and suffered from years in a back pocket and needed replacement. You can take the forty years of reading I have gotten as sufficient testimony as to its worth.
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Format: Paperback
Summary: This book is similar to Hoffer’s "The True Believer" in that its theme is the crisis of the self-esteem of those who cannot stand to be individuals—the “immature” and “undeveoped” (his words). However, this book does not merely rehash what was said in "The True Believer." Hoffer expands on his thesis that the undeveloped and immature latch on to groups to lose themselves and become something greater. Hoffer gives examples of this occurrence throughout history, and demonstrates the conditions necessary to create real mass movements. Hoffer explains the origin of the intellectual—his beginnings as a counter for the merchants, not part of the lower class but never part of the elite either—and how this motivates the intellectual to engender passion in the masses to gain power for himself. Hoffer warns the reader to beware of movements that claim to be “for the good of the people” as such movements seek to destroy individual liberty and control the population. One characteristic of Hoffer that really comes through in this book—one which makes him such a profound writer—is his nuanced analysis of mass movements. One the one hand, he describes them as destructive and oppressive, but on the other hand he acknowledges them to be purveyors of change for the good, even though often the good these movements create are not of the type imagined by participants in the movement. In my view, Hoffer views mass movements to be akin to a forest fire—destructive, uncontrollable, and mindless, but yet clearing the way and sowing seeds for new growth. Hoffer is highly critical, but not judgmental. He is probably the most objective analyst of culture that I’m aware of. He writes from the perspective of an acute and pervasive mind looking down on the world from high above it.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I just recently began reading Hoffer. I have been blown away by his insights and original thinking. This is a wonderful selection that helped me understand some of the problems our society has today. The split between 'intellectual elites' and the common man & for example why the media thinks so differently than the 'common man' and why College professors and teachers seem to say they are all for the little guy but in reality seem to have contempt for anyone who doesn't think like them. Hoffer talks about how Russia was the best example of an Intellectual experiment taken to the max. The Communist elites were intellectuals but the common man in Russia was simply fodder for these 'elite' rulers. They ate the common man up and spit him out without so much as a shred of conscience or apology to achieve their goals.

Amazing stuff. It helped me to understand much that goes on even today. Much of what he says applies to Islamic countries too.
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