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The Crowd/Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  336 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
There are two classic texts that deal with crowd psychology and the irrational behavior that characterizes large groups of people acting en masse. They are The Crowd, and Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness Crowds. Both books provide lucid and witty insights into the madness of crowd psychology, such as the tulipmania in Holland, when the price of tulip bulbs w ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 1st 1993 by Wasendorf & Associates Inc
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Sep 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Despite the extreme racism and sexism of this book, it is thought-provoking in that I felt like I was looking at society through the eyes of the oppressors who focus on manipulating and fooling 'the crowd'. Don't expect a deep class analysis, as a matter of fact he doesn't address class at all but instead divides society by race. He also has absolutely no faith in the great mass of people who are to him 'stupid' and only able to operate off of base psychological drives which their 'superiors' ca ...more
Jan 06, 2017 marked it as wish-list
Mario Veraguth
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Probably fire-dangerous instructions for the instrumentalization and manipulation of humans

Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

As current as the problem is, so narrow-minded appear some of the author's remarks, which allows his subjective opinion to flow heavily into various passages, which is an unforgivable mistake for serious non-fiction. The mediated concept of history should be treated with caution since aspects such as
Nafis Faizi
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is one of the greatest works on the crowd behaviour & a must read...Some excerpts worth mention..

"Crowds have always undergone the influence of illusions. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim. "

‘…that crowds do not reason, that they accept or reject ideas as a whole, that they tolerate neither discussion nor contradiction, and that the suggestions brought to bear on them invade the entire field
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tons of bias, but he has very interesting points.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I find it quite musing that such an extraordinary petite volume with such practical value is almost hidden from the tranches of society. This book will explain how the average student, alone, is incredibly bright and full of capability: the student is typically probed into the company of crowds (usually by psychological propaganda) and is then in a state of lower intelligence. This book explains why in corporate life 'the team-oriented' tasks usually produce second rate results. Why people burn ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Strange feelings.

Even though I agree with some thoughts of author, in general, this book is full of manipulation and bias around racism and sexism (like when author says "I analyzed dependency between skull size and how smart people are and here is an outcome", and then he actually adds no details about this analysis). It's not what is called science normally.

But I rate it with 3 stars instead of single one, because by reading it I learned lots of thoughts of ordinary European men in the end of
Paul Day
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Explains the success of 'bumper sticker' politics that we see so much of today.
Qin Li
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tons of biases in this book, but a great read (considering the era this was written).
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Gustave walks through the mind of the crowd. The crowd, regardless of individual intelligence, is reduced to a common level. Many times, the ability to reason ceases and terseness takes over. The crowd reaches civility in pursuit of an ideal, but thereafter returns to barbarism as the ideal is lost; the circle of life continues.
Zeke Fortune
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
A good observation of the "herd mentality" you somehow get when a crowd of people "wirelessly" link their minds together and become a superorganism. Chances are you've experienced the feeling before, and if you realised how you had been so subversively influenced you'd be shocked too.
Chester Kisiel
Apr 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chester1
Le Bon as well as McKay are classics. Le Bon was the father of social psychology. Le Bon wrote a lot of other books. For example, The Evolution of Peoples, The Psychology of Socialism, and The Psychology of Revolution, all of them insightful
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
also is out of time,but it can explain some reasons for social things.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it


Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
short succulent notes on financial bubble
Rui Ma
Dec 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
After USA 2016 election, this book makes sense
May 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
Le Bon does not recognize the difference between the mob and the people.
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Oct 28, 2013
Saleh Bahshwan
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Feb 04, 2018
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May 30, 2014
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Apr 01, 2013
Andy Zhang
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Sep 18, 2015
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Jun 15, 2012
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Jun 05, 2014
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Jun 12, 2017
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Nov 22, 2014
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Nov 20, 2013
خالد  حاتم
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Oct 02, 2013
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Aug 06, 2015
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A social psychologist, sociologist, and amateur physicist. He was the author of several works in which he expounded theories of national traits, racial superiority, herd behavior and crowd psychology.
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“هذه هي حالة الفرد المنخرط في الجمهور وقد قدمنا لها وصفًا متكاملًا تقريبًا. فهذا الفرد لا يعود واعيًا لأعماله. فحالته تشبه حالة المنوَّم مغناطيسيًا؛ بمعنى أن بعض ملكاته تصبح مدمَّرة، في حين أن بعضها الأخر يُستثار ويُستفز إلى الحد الأقصى. وتأثير كل إقتراح يُملى عليه أو كل تحريض يمثل قوه طائشة لا يمكن ردّها من أجل تنفيذ بعض الأعمال. وهذه القوة الهائجة تكون عادةً أقوى لدى الجماهير منها لدى الإنسان المنوم مغناطيسيًا؛ فبما أن المحرِّض هو واحد بالنسبة لكل أفراد الجمهور فإنه يتضخم ويكبر عن طريق التبادل. وأفراد الجمهور الذين يمتلكون شخصيه قويه جدًا تُمكنهم من مقاومة المحرَّض هم ذوو عدد ضئيل وبالتالي فإن التيار يجرفهم معه، وكل ما يستطيعون تقديمه هو محاولة تحويل الأنظار بإتجاه آخر عن طريق تقديم اقتراح مختلف.” 8 likes
“Were it possible to induce the masses to adopt atheism, this belief would exhibit all the intolerant ardor of a religious sentiment, and in its exterior forms would soon become a cult.” 5 likes
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