If only this had been required reading for my European History class in 10th grade, instead of Crane Brinton's Anatomy of Revolution. The writing style is more ad hoc, but still engaging as it moves from topic to topic. When I first began, I was a bit turned off. However, by the end I found myself in agreement with the broad strokes of Hoffer's assessment of mass movements. His most interesting observation (to me) was that the desire to be part of something larger than yourself stems from individual failure. Perhaps this is clearest and most explicit when talking about religion, but I see now how it can apply to politics as well. While I still see the value of mass movements in achieving limited goals, I now also have a renewed confidence in what the individual can accomplish. This would also make great reading for those trying to put our current political situation into perspective.