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Reflections on the Human Condition

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Eric Hoffer--one of America's most important thinkers and the author of The True Believer--lived for years as a Depression Era migratory worker. Self-taught, his appetite for knowledge--history, science, mankind--formed the basis of his insight to human nature. Reflections on the Human Condition is a collection of poignant aphorisms taken from his writings.
Paperback, 88 pages
Published September 8th 2006 by Hopewell Publications
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One of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors. RotHC is a collection of aphorisms and short thoughts from Hoffer organized categorically.

I recommend this book to anyone with a few minutes time.

One favorite of mine:

"One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it
Some of it was incredibly outdated, some of it was right on the mark. What a weird man. I wanted to copy out sections of this book:

"People who cannot grow want to leap: they want short cuts to fame, fortune, and happiness."

"A plant needs roots in order to grow. With man it is the other way around: only when he grows does he have roots and feels at home in the world."
Hoffer's thoughts on change resonate, but the facepalm racism sort of ruins it.
Simon Lee
Men, technology and society, no one nails it better than Hoffer on the relationship amongst the three. Those who says this book is outdated should come back to it in ten years of time, or understand the state of the technological society now. Hoffer is timeless.
The True Believer made an impact on me when I was in college. I thought Hoffer really nailed the desire to join a mass movement. As I get older and realize how few individuals are truly independent thinkers, the book has grown in my estimation. When I stumbled across this book at the used bookstore, I thought it would be a great, short read - a collection of Hoffer aphorisms about human nature. Alas, it was disappointing. There were some interesting observations but none were all that insightful ...more
Mark Russell
This book is little more than a collection of Hoffer's sayings and general opinions which, removed from their supporting material, lose much of their impact. Though Hoffer wrote with a lot of density, condensing powerful ideas into small doses, these passages are more designed to inspire curiosity about Hoffer than to satisfy it. For people who want an introduction to America's most prominent lay intellectual, I would refer them to The True Believer or The Ordeal of Change rather than this books ...more
A wonderful book. Was about to throw it in the recycle bin (I work at a book store and the copy was just a bit too beat up to sell), and the title caught my eye. I looked it over, figured it seemed like something right up my alley, and took it home. A great bit of dumb luck on my part!
Jul 24, 2011 Dan added it
Good words for living.
Good quotes.
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Eric Hoffer was an American social writer and philosopher. He produced ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983 by President of the United States Ronald Reagan. His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that his book The Ordeal of Ch ...more
More about Eric Hoffer...
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms The Ordeal of Change Truth Imagined The Temper of Our Time

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“In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” 12 likes
“In the alchemy of man's soul almost all noble attributes--courage, honor, love, hope, faith, duty, loyalty, etc.--can be transmuted into ruthlessness. Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us. Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
Nature has no compassion. It is, in the words of William Blake, "a creation that groans, living on the death; where fish and bird and beast and tree and metal and stone live by devouring." Nature accepts no excuses and the only punishment it knows is death.”
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