Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds


Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds ❮BOOKS❯ ✯ Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds ⚡ Author Charles Mackay – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk Describing bizarrely popular Victorian street slang the madness of crowds stock market mania from the South Sea Bubble to Tulip fever popular fashions fads crazes schemes and scams this brilliantly en Describing bizarrely popular Victorian street slang the Delusions and Epub Û madness of crowds stock market mania from the South Sea Bubble to Tulip fever popular fashions fads crazes schemes and scams this brilliantly entertaining and ever relevant study of human folly shows that we are always susceptible to hysteria and bamboozlementGREAT IDEAS Throughout history some books have changed the world They have transformed the way we see ourselves and each other They have inspired debate dissent war and revolution They have enlightened outraged provoked and Extraordinary Popular PDF \ comforted They have enriched lives and destroyed them Now Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers pioneers radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization and helped make us who we are.

  • Paperback
  • 144 pages
  • Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
  • Charles Mackay
  • English
  • 03 April 2016
  • 9780141192925

10 thoughts on “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

  1. James James says:

    This is one of the greatest books ever writtenFirst published in 1841 I think it has been in print continually ever since Rare for a non fiction bookI read it about once every 10 years to remind myself of mob psychology One of my favorite genres Also the author has a gift for storytellingAbout a dozen chapters each one about a different set of events All examples of mob behavior How people can abandon critical analysis when everyone else is doing itAbout the balance between Fear and Greed and what happens when Greed turns to Fear The first several chapters are about financial bubbles the tulip frenzy in Holland the South seas bubble in Britian and the Louisiana scam in France Then it moves on to other examples like the witch burning in Europe where over 100000 people were killed by their neighbors because they were a witch Other chapters inclued dueling haunted houses and If you buy at com BEWARESome of the editions they sell are not completethey only have the first 3 chapters Usually tells how many pages are in a bookthey don't do that for any of the many editions of this particular book Almost every library has a copy

  2. Markus Markus says:

    Extraordinary Popular Delusions and Madness of the CrowdsBy Charles Mackay 1814 1889Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet journalist author anthologist novelist and songwriter remembered mainly for his book 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds' The themes of the madness of the crowds are mostly situated in the eighteenth to the nineteenth century The Mississippi scheme Louis XIV died in 1715 The heir to the throne is an infant of only seven years of age The Duke of Orleans assumed the reins of government as regentJohn Law was a Scotsman with financial experience from all over Europe over thirty years With the help of exceptional gifts of intelligence charm and persuasion and some high ranking connection succeed in approaching the new regent with credible proposals to Save the country’s finances from its utmost state of disorder He proposed the creation of paper money of which he had seen very successful operations in Holland and Germany He was listened to and allowed to register a new bank called ‘Law and Company' He went to work as proposed and could soon prove that his bank was prosperous and his methods safe His next step in 1717 was to establish a new company ‘The Mississippi Company’ and obtained from the regent to have exclusive rights to trading with the province of Louisiana The country was supposed to abound in gold and other precious metals Letters Patent were issued and the company registered with two hundred thousand shares of five hundred lives each It was then that the frenzy of speculation began to seize the whole nation The entire country handed in their gold and silver in exchange for paper notes promising 120% revenue pa The system worked for a while due to ever new share emissions paying the income for the first patch The rest of the story is the adventurous unravelling over several years of some grand illusions of hope ending in disappointment and national disaster The blame for the failure had been laid on John Law’s head and he had to leave France in a hurry to avoid being lynched but it is reported that the regent had been at the lever to overstep the limits of saving speculation People never learn Modern stock exchanges are no different Except that they are slightly better managed We have seen in our lifetime several speculation bubbles burst and crowds of people ruined The south sea bubble;While John Law’s Mississippi scheme in France was at its highest point of popularity the Earl of Oxford in the year of 1711 introduced to England the “South Sea Company” with the pretended aim of restoring public credit Similar to John Law’s scheme this company promised immense riches from the eastern coast of South America the Gold and Silver mines of Peru and Mexico Reports smartly spread reported that Spain was willing to concede four maritime ports for traffic Philip V of Spain however never had any intention of granting England any free trade to Spanish America But the public confidence in the South Sea Company was not shaken and investments continued at great sped and volumes Even though the company had hardly any income from trade it continued flourishing by purely financial means In addition to this the government promoted additional means of harvesting money from investors in passing acts of law like the South Sea Act the Bank Act and the General Fund Act The great principle of the project was to raise artificially the value of the stocks by exciting and influencing a general infatuation and by promising dividends out of funds that could never be adeuate to the purpose It seemed at that time that the whole nation had turned stock jobbers Other schemes and innumerable joint stock companies of the most extravagant kind started up everywhereThe popular appellation called the fittingly ‘bubbles ‘and mere cheatsI leave it to the future reader to follow the unravelling of this national disaster to the end Just like in France at almost the same timeThe TulipmaniaThe tulip seems to have been a flower originating from ConstantinopleA certain Conrad Gesner says that he first saw it in 1559 in a botanical garden in AugsburgIn the course of ten to twenty year afterwards tulips were much sought after by the rich and famous of Holland and Germany The first tulips planted in England came from Vienna in 1600 Until the year 1634 the tulip increased annually in reputation Soon the middle class society merchants and shopkeepers began to vie which each other in the rarity of these flowers and the extraordinarily high prices that they paid for them Any particular virtue of this flower is not known it has neither the beauty nor the perfume of a rose and is not enduring either However in 1634 the rage among the Dutch to possess them was so high that the ordinary industry of the country was neglected In 1635 many people were known to invest 100 000 florins for the purchase of 40 roots A species called ‘Semper Augustus’ would be paid 5500 florins The operations of the trade became so extensive and complicated that it was found necessary to draw up a code of laws for the guidance of the dealersAt last however the prudent began to see that this folly could not go on forever They started a selling movement The prices fell and never rose again A universal panic seized upon the dealers and the bubble burst Many were left ruinedThis is the only madness of the crowds that I can not blame Any passionate collector of things be they rare or standard or be they tulips will understand that urge of gathering what he regards as treasures It seems to be part of human nature The AlchemistsDissatisfaction with his fate seems to be the characteristic of all menThree causes especially have excited the discontent death poverty and ignorance of the future The first was the reason of many savant men to search for some secret way of avoiding death and if not to at least live for several centuries instead of several years It was the search for the elixir vitae or water of life The second was the search for the philosopher’s stone which was to create riches in transforming any metal into goldThe third was the search for means of discovering the future They were the alchemists sorcerers geomancers and dealers in charms amulets for all sorts of functions like philtres of love fortune telling healing all maladies and working miracles of all kinds For than a thousand years the art of alchemy captivated many noble spirits and was believed in by millions It was practised by the Chinese two thousand five hundred years BCPretenders to the art of making gold and silver flourished in Ancient Rome and Constantinople up to the fourth century and later Some of the most renowned philosophers are Geber of the year 730 Alfarabi of the 10th century Albertus Magnus and Thomas Auinas of 1193 1244 Alain de Lisle the universal Doctor Atrophies Arnold de Villeneuve Pietro d’Apone Raymond Lully Roger Bacon 1214 Pope John XXII 1244 Jean de Meung 1279 Roman de la RoseNicholas Flamel1257And many in this chapter of whom short biographies are developed with many exciting and amusing incidents adventures and anecdotes too many to be listed here but well worth reading Modern PropheciesEnd of the world prophecies seized the Christian World spread by fanatics in the middle of the tenth century preaching that the thousand year cycle prophesized in the Apocalypse was about to expire The last judgment was expected to take place in Jerusalem Large crowds of people from all over Europe sold all their belongings and went the Holy Land where they lived on their proceeds waiting for the end of the world which was near In the year One thousand the situation grew worse Every meteor every thunder was the voice of God Numbers expected the earth to open and give up the dead for the last judgment day Fanatic preachers kept up the flame of terror When nothing happened it might have taken a year or for the return home Ruined and destitute victims of their madness Credulity is always greatest in time of disaster and calamity During the Years 1345 and 1350During the great plague it was considered that the end of the world was near London was hit by great consternation by the prophecy of the famous Whiston that the world would be destroyed on the 13th of October 1736In the year 1761 London was alarmed by two shocks of earthuake The first fell on the 8th of February the second on the 8th of March pointing at exactly one month between the two blows Some madman predicted the end of London in one month time the 5 the of April The word spread uickly and crowds of people left the city to wait for the end of the world in the open fields outside the city When nothing happened the prophet named Bell was apprehended and locked up in a madhouse Other prophecies have been numerous which were asserted to have been delivered hundreds of years before with always a most pernicious effect on the mind of the vulgar populationFortune tellingIn this chapter the author proceeds to consider all the follies into which men have been led in the hope of piercing the thick darkness of the futurity God himself for his wise purpose has than once undrawn the impenetrable veil of which shrouds those awful secrets We found that the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were the golden ages of the imposters of foretelling the futureThe most celebrated astrologers in England three centuries ago were alchemists such as Agrippa Paracelsus Dr Dee the Rosicrucian’s Lilly Lamb Brooker GadburyIn France and Germany astrologers met even encouragements Louis XI the most superstitious of men and Catherine de Medicis the most superstitious of women kept great numbers of them at their court The most celebrated of them was Nostradamus who flourished around 1556 The prophecies of Nostradamus consist of than thousand stanzas written in obscure language hardly intelligible and likely to fit any outcomeHe is to this day extremely popular in France and some parts of BelgiumAnother famous astrologer named Antiochus Tiberius lived in Romagna in the fifteenth century Other sciences resorted to prying into the future were Necromancy Geomancy Augury and Divination the most enduring of them It was practised alike by Jews the Egyptians the Chaldeans the Persians The Greeks and the Romans Divination is practised to the present day in civilized Europe chiefly from Cards coffee cups and lines of the hand Among an endless list of other forms Omens are among the other means of self annoyance upon which man has stumbled on and is in use since the darkest ages of the past Everyone I believe has his omens in mind and reacts to them instinctively to this very day myself included The Magnetisers;The influence of the imagination in the cure of diseases is well knownThe mineral magnetizers claim the first notice as worthy predecessors of today's uacks Paracelsus was the first to practice the art of healing by magnetism Messmer of Vienna was another famous practitioner of the art He arrived in Paris in 1778 and became a fashionable physician throughout every grade of society His name became a popular expression to be mesmerized still in use today Amusing anecdotes and adventures by the dozenThe CrusadesThis is an exciting historical report on all the 8 or 9 crusades I did not know there had been so many The first 1096 two crusades were indeed an example of the complete Madness of the Crowds The poorest of the French and German population was harangued and motivated by the ruthless and fanatic Monk Peter the Hermit endorsed by Pope Urban II They gathered in vile lawless and ruthless crowds of several hundred thousand and started up to reach Jerusalem by foot None of them knew where Jerusalem was nor how far away they just went to the East like devouring flocks of locusts stealing looting and burning everything on the way until the neighbouring countries got organized and killed them as they came None ever reached the holy land Later crusades spanning over than two centuries were of a military nature organized by French English and German noblemen and their armies Their intent to conuer and control Jerusalem fighting away the Muslims was obtained with the cost the lives of thousands amid rivers of blood Europe had spent millions of her treasures and lost two million of her population and a handful of uarrelsome knights retained possession of Palestine for about one hundred years I had only read the extraordinary true life report of The Conuest of Constantinople by Vill ehardouin about the third and fourth crusades in the twelfth century And also the remarkable book of “Vie de Saint Louis” by Joinville one of his faithful knights who led the crusades to Egypt and Jerusalem in 1248 1254 I appreciate this complement of history to my knowledge The following chaptersThe Witch mania;The slow poisoners;Haunted houses;Popular follies of great cities;Popular admiration of great thieves;Duels and Ordeals;RelicsI leave it to future readers to discover these chapters Enough is said about the style and excellent uality of this very elaborate but easy to read work of Charles Mackey

  3. David David says:

    In the weeks before the election as the financial crisis spun ever farther out of control and the pundits' shrieks grew ever shrill I browsed through Popular Delusions and found solace Charles Mackay's extraordinary survey of the various manifestations of mass hysteria throughout history cannot help but offer perspective He reminds us that no matter how batshit crazy a particular fad might seem it's already been done by our ancestors There is truly nothing new under the sun; the catalog of human daftness though entertainingly long and varied is nonetheless finiteIt's all here in Mackay's book laid out with a kind of detached amusement that leaves no doubt as to where the author stands Market craziness got you down? It may cheer you up to read about the Mississippi scheme that wrought such havoc on the French treasury in the 18th century while the South Sea Bubble engulfed the English or to refresh your memory on Holland's infamous Tulipomanic excesses Three of the longer sections of the book are devoted to alchemy the crusades and witch hunting By the accumulation of examples and anecdotes across the geographical and historical spectrum ie from different times and places Mackay demonstrates that human folly remains a constant down the ages He doesn't beat us over the head with this message he simply assembles the data with no overt analysis and leaves us to draw the inevitable conclusion Most of your favorite targets are discussed in the book eschatological prophets fortune tellers spiritualists mediums and the good Dr Mesmer and his imitators The anecdotes are often hilarious even so because of Mackay's tone of dry amusement But he knows when to administer the coup de grace as for example when he shows how easy it is to attribute post hoc meaning to the notoriously vague uatrains of Nostradamus One can only wish that the folks at The History Channel would read these sections and take them to heartShorter chapters are interspersed on topics as diverse as the wave of spouse poisoning that swept through the courts of Europe in the 17th century the influence of politics and religion on men's hair and beard styles haunted houses popular admiration of great thieves duels relics and the sudden rise and fall of certain catchphrases or songs in big cities Yadda yadda yadda anyone?This book is ideal for browsing It's all pretty interesting stuff presented clearly and wittily You can learn uite a bit and enjoy yourself doing so what's not to like? This book deserves its status as a classic

  4. Arminius Arminius says:

    This book is uite a riveting book The name of the book describes exactly what you might expect it to contain “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” provides a list of history’s ridiculous schemes fantasies prophesies witchcraft faith healers and The author then debunks the delusions by citing the proof that was published at the time of the delusion I will list a few a few of the stories I liked best The first chapter teaches us about a Scottish character named John Law Mr Law canvassed European leaders to accept an economic plan to use paper currency as opposed to the metal coinage used at the time It took him a while but he finally found sympathetic ears in France who was experiencing at the time a chaotic economy Law instituted his scheme and it worked like a charm The economy recovered mostly because the King allowed Law to control it Law kept the currency steady and that revived the French economy Afterwards he became well respected financierWith this respect behind him he unlaunched a devious grand plan He sold paper certificates that proved ownership of a section of the Mississippi River which was under French control in the 17th Century He previously told the public that the banks of the river contained diamonds gold and other precious metals These paper certificates became so popular that a buying frenzy occurred with people bidding higher and higher to own one Unfortunately the truth hit France and the certificates became worthless causing many to go bankrupt With this event Mr Law floundered to just a footnote in historyAnother fascinating tale is the work of the 17th and 18th alchemists The alchemists told of how they discovered the philosopher’s stone which gave them the ability to turn base metals into gold Many alchemists used this trick to swindle wealthy ignorant citizens and leaders of much of Europe into funding their alchemist trade in hopes of receiving gold in return One trick of the alchemist was revealed in this book In order to gain the confidence of the alchemist's patrons the alchemist would have a wand The Alchemist filled the wand with gold dust and capped it with wax ends Then he placed the wand into a fire the wax end melt and presto gold dust appeared The amazed patrician would respond with a commitment to the alchemist In all cases cited in the book eventually the alchemist would be exposed of his chicanery and often forced to spree A third one I found fascinating is the story of the Rosicrucian’s Again in the 17th Century a band with certain inhumanly characteristics created a sensation in Germany They decried that God covered them in a thick cloud which protected them and they possessed the power to cure all maladies They also possessed all wisdom and never needed to eat or drink They had six rules of conduct 1 They should cure all diseases they come across gratuitously 2 They should dress in conformity to the country to which they were residing3 They should meet once a year4 That every brother should chose a person worthy to succeed him5 The words “Rose cross” should be the marks used to identify each other6 Their secret should be kept for 26 yearsThey believed that they obtained these rules from a golden book found in the tomb of their creator named Rosencreutz Interesting enough the Rosicrucian group still exists However there is an annual 150 membership feePopular haunted houses of the 17 and 18th centuries which caused fear among the masses are discussed and explained The European witch scare is detailed as well Would you believe the Crusades were ignited by one person who went by the name of Peter the Hermit? Peter the Hermit stirred the passions of European Christianity into a war that some historians say lasted 700 yearsExtraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is an extraordinary tale of some of history’s most intriguing multitude arousals

  5. Lois Bujold Lois Bujold says:

    It's been too long since I've read this but there's a reason it's been in print since 1841 Among other things it has a classic account of the Dutch tulip mania one of the first but far from the last market bubbles and still instructiveAnd I see it is now available through Project Gutenberg and for free for one's Kindle so will be my next stop tonightTa L

  6. Mateo Mateo says:

    Mark Twain once famously characterized a classic as a book that everyone praises and nobody reads and while there are plenty of classics that absolutely hold up The Iliad Moby Dick hell most anything by Twain himself there are plenty of others that disappoint I waited years to finally read Don uixote first book only only to find that it was pretty boring Figured the movie M starring Peter Lorre was can't miss It missed Gave up on Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and finished Augie March only through sheer stubbornness I've read the Divine Comedy three times trying to figure out if I like it or not Charles Mackay's Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is one of those books the sits on the shelves of a lot of smart people in the section I'll Get Around to This Someday Well if it's on your shelf take it down and start reading This book is a classic and a hell of a read It ranges all over the place from alchemy and witch burning to short lived popular phrases if you thought hella and yo were odd phrases to capture the modern lexicon try phrases like uoz? and What a shocking bad hat which gripped London in the 19th century Of most interest to the modern reader are most likely the first three chapters which describe three great historical financial Ponzi schemes the Mississippi Scheme and the South Sea Bubble of the 1720s and the Tulipomania that gripped Holland in the 1630s It's impossible to read these histories of financial shenanigans and not immediately think of Goldman Sachs Bernie Madoff Enron AIG and the rest of the modern bubbles Plus ça change indeed Mackay a lawyer by trade was a sly witty clever writer with a gift for understatement Describing a particularly compelling prediction made by the famous 15th century astrologer and prognosticator Pandolfo di Malatesta Mackay ends the astounding tale by observing that the only thing that detracts from the interest of this remarkable story is the fact that the prophesy was made after the event Taking on uacks from Nostradamus to Paracelsus Mackay displays a shrewdly skeptical eye that stands in stark opposition to the general credulity especially religious credulity of his age and ours Written some 20 years before Charles Darwin would pound yet another huge nail into the coffin of superstition a coffin that seems to pop open with disturbing freuency Popular Delusions is a funny sharp informative readable and valuable book In short a classicPostscript According to Wikipedia economists in the 1980s and '90s challenged much of Mackay's account of the Tulip Mania Given that these economists are described as skeptical of speculative bubbles in general and that these criticisms appeared long before the current economic crisis brought on by the housing and derivative busts I'm going to go with Mackay on this one

  7. Stela Stela says:

    I am a little disappointed after reading Charles Mackay’s book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds for the title promised to me at least so much I was sure to find an extensive psychological study on the subject of crowds’ psychology but what I found is only a true pretty impressive collection of many follies crowds had been prey of over time accompanied by some candid comments from a bewildered author usually in the spirit of the followingWhen the world begins to believe extraordinary things of an individual there is no telling where its extravagance will stop People when once they have taken the start vie with each other who shall believe mostThe three volumes try to organize popular delusions in three categories national peculiar and philosophical but the criteria are rather lax The first one begins with a detailed description of the Mississippi scheme in France copied in England by what was called “the South Sea bubble” and ends with a description of a peculiar kind of murderers in India the thugs In between some amusing stories about the tulipomania that haunted the 17th century Europe the laws concerning long hair culminating with a beard tax in Russia the power of the prophecies and relics over both rich and poor educated and ignorant and other things that reveal the constant “love of the marvellous and disbelief of the truth”Half of the second book is dedicated to the crusades and the rest looks over the witch hunt trials of the inuisition presents some famous slow poisoners and enumerates some haunted housesThe last one consists mainly of short biographies of famous alchemists like Avicenna Paracelsius Roger Bacon or Cornelius Agrippa and fortune tellers and magnetisers like Anthony Mesmer Cagliostro or NostradamusIn conclusion the book is a delightful collection of strange stories for the amateurs of the genre but it is also a rich source of information for anyone who would want to write a scientific study psychological social historical take your pick about the crowd behaviour

  8. Steve Steve says:

    What a delightful read Oh to be reminded of humanity's follies and foolishness Yes plus ça change plus c'est la même chose I'm always delighted to read of the foibles of Walter the Penniless and Peter the Hermit truly amusing but for the hundreds of? thousands of misguided followers who met an early and painful death in the first crusade And how about those many thousands of suspected witches who met brutal deaths? And on and onWe see in this volume echoes of the enthusiasms that propel investing bubbles and the base populism that creates a President Donald J Trump I believe that emotion is our worst enemy; this work provides substantial evidence for that assertion

  9. Erik Graff Erik Graff says:

    I was surprised and somewhat pleased to see that some business book publishers help keep this amusing work in print The most memorable portions of it are about financial scams panics and fads all crazy

  10. Bernardo Kaiser Bernardo Kaiser says:

    I guess the low rating is my fault this book is written in a very victorian styles and it feels like a reference book than one that you actually opens to read it from beginning to end Anyway lost interest after the 78th description of some renaissance alchemist

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