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The Madness of Crowds: Some Modern Taboos

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,237 ratings  ·  167 reviews
In the long-awaited follow-up to his 2016 best-seller The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray interrogates the vicious new culture wars playing out in our media, universities, homes and perhaps the most violent place of all: online. The Madness of Crowds is a must-read polemic-a vociferous demand for a return to free speech in an age of mass hysteria and political ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Bloomsbury Continuum
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DAVE VANAUKEN It drags some hard and uncomfortable facts, events and results into the open, and largely states "seems to be something wrong here". If facing…moreIt drags some hard and uncomfortable facts, events and results into the open, and largely states "seems to be something wrong here". If facing difficult facts about ones point of view have you resort to screaming "stalin" or "hitler" in response, then some portions may seem biased. If listening to other points of view have you reflect, consider, and adjust where necessary then you will find well founded criticism that warrants thought and further consideration. Those two statements apply regardless of your current "camp" or leaning as it is not gentle to either.(less)
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Mj Brodie
I've read Douglas Murray's work before and while I disagree with about 75% of his views on political and social issues, I decided to read his new book to get a different perspective, which I believe to be a valuable exercise we should all engage in from time to time. From the point of view of the left, we are living in hateful times where people of color and women face more threats to their existence than ever before. The outlook is bleak, especially in the aftermath of the election in 2016 and ...more
Filipp Miroshnichenko
A book that attempts and manages to make sense of something that barely makes any sense at all deserves praise in and of itself. Yet, when the subject in question is as controversial and divisive as today's ineluctable pervasiveness of identity politics, addressing such a combustible phenomenon accords particular accolades to those who have the guts to dissect it. As is the case with his previous works, once again Murray displays the same courage, honesty and depth which have made him one of the ...more
Declan Murray
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murray has succeeded in identifying some of the key components of the current midlife crisis that sections of the left are undergoing relating to sexuality, gender, race and what he calls "Trans" .

He perfectly elucidates he creeping feeling that there is something very strange about hypersensitivity on these issues beginning at just the moment when they were beginning to fade in importance.

He also identifies some of the sources for the strange realities that coexist in western culture at the
...more
Gareth
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed hearing what I consider to be Murray's compassionate skepticism of social justice ideology. In hindsight, I think it was a bit therapeutic to me to hear so much of a rational, liberal voice challenging what I often feel is an aggressive, ubiquitous orthodoxy. I appreciate what I see as Murray's mapping out of not only various areas of these hard-left, identity-based views but also partially where they came from, how they have changed and continue to change in people's minds, and what ...more
Fi Read with Fi
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: social-science
Required reading for... everyone!
Elliott Reid
Oct 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew
Oct 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a lot of common sense to be found in what is supposedly a celebration of common sense. Even less empathy. A childish book written by someone unable to understand the perspectives of people with different life experiences.
Richio
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book of Murray's I've read, following The Strange Death of Europe. Like that book, many people will condemn or praise this one based on their politics, quite often without reading it.

Murray is known as a conservative provocateur, particuarly for his live speaking, partly because he is so articulate and capable of delivering withering put downs in a cut glass accent. I think this overshadows the fact that's he's a very clear thinker and raises reasonable arguments. He may be a
...more
Christopher Blosser
The Madness of Crowds is perhaps a little too reliant on lengthy anecdotes from current events, scene-by-scene (or blow-by-blow) transcriptions of televised traumas and social media skirmishes, such that those familiar with some of the incidents related my be tempted to skip over some pages. Nevertheless, I believe this stands is one of the best analyses of the functional incoherence of the phenomenon of intersectionality, with its competing oppressions [and/or] victimhood of race, sex and ...more
Letitia Todd Kim
Not as insightful or useful as it could have been. Rather than being an evidentiary or theoretically based critique of identitarianism, this book is largely a collection of anecdotes (most of which are already well known to anyone paying attention) interspersed with Murray’s measured opinions (again, most of which have already been expressed by others). While the identitarian movement is probably too new to have generated an expansive library of data, surely there are enough statistics to enable ...more
John Wiltshire
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I doubt many people reading this book would give it fewer than 5 stars. If you are interested in identity politics and its effects on society, then I would assume you'd find this the perfect dissection of that phenomenon. If you are the kind of person who reads, as I did this morning, that Portland has banned urinals in public toilets (presumably so as not to offend men-identifying women who have their self-identification rather challenged by not being able to pee standing up) and rant and rave ...more
Emil O. W. Kirkegaard
Pretty boring book. Basically just a series of comments on popular cases of insane SJW behavior.
Richard Block
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
SJW Inferno

Douglas Murray's supercilious, ultra posh voice enunciates every syllable of his latest polemic (on Audible) in which he pontificates on the destructive nature of modern debate on the issues of gender and race. The social warriors are demented, maintains the controlled Murray, whose polemic oozes sarcasm and contempt. The central thesis is this - just as we are winning the battle for gay rights, women's rights, and black rights, the post Marxist analysis that has escaped academia thru
...more
Michael Shore
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I admire Murray's courage and willingness to take on such a host of hot-button issues in this brilliant volume. A refreshingly candid analysis and devastating take-down of the absolute insanity on the left. By far the best book I've read this year.
Benjamin Marcher
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
288 pages of pure and accurate facts. A perfect articulation of the mass hysteria exhibited by the upper 0.1% of our society.
Jvm
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Fantastic Book by Douglas Murray

Douglas Murray does it again. If you’ve been wondering what’s behind all of the recent hysteria about trans rights, ‘dead naming’ and ‘intersectionality’; or like James O Brian, you don’t know what identity politics is, this is the book for you.

After watching Douglas Murray’s many, many debates on YouTube I’ve always admired his ability to calmly and cogently dismantle the left’s arguments and after addressing the immigration, identity and Islam issue in,
...more
Sylvester Kuo
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, history, humour, glbt
I loved Islamophilia but Neo-conservatism and Why We Need It left a bad taste in my mouth. I have not since ready any work by Murray again. After a friend recommendation, I picked up The Madness of Crowds and my, Murray had a way with words when he's trying to be funny.

The book focused on 4 major points in the insanity of Western civilisation: Sexual orientation, gender, race and trannies. I am well aware of the blackpill presented in this book but Murray made it fun to read, I particularly
...more
Truly
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Watch a detailed review along with my favorite ideas and takeaways at:
https://youtu.be/BG3TWjtrohQ
Melissa
Nov 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-thanks
This is why centrist views are so dangerous. They claim that free speech includes hatred. Fuck this book. Fuck this author.
André Rio
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deep-dive into the countless contradictions of Identity Politics
Patafyzak
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a somewhat difficult book to rate.
Style: The text is superb - it's well written, funny and logically constructed. Murray is really getting his arguments across with the use of easy-to-remember metaphors (e.g. The battering ram), and tons of anecdotes.

Content: I really agree with 70 % of Murrays arguments, but I find the leftover 30 % hard to agree with, especially the tendency to explain all of modern day social justice movements as a single overarching ideology founded on Marxist
...more
Andrew
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've always been interested in the way crowds behave...when large numbers of individuals forfeit that individuality to a potent force of unity & blind prejudice. I try to avoid crowds...I have never joined a protest march for example as I have never felt happy not retaining my own point-of-view...& my socio-political opinons will remain just that...opinions...my own induvidual opinions! I will never again express an opinion in public or on social media...as there are people out there who ...more
Armin
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Clear, sense-making words in a time of madness.
Katie
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disturbing and timely analysis of tribalism at its worst.
Aleksandra
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the most part, this is a good book.

There are parts, especially at the beginning, that read like the author put in a lot of effort to cater to the sensibilities of a part of his audience.

For example, in the introduction, he says that a decade ago almost nobody was supportive of gay marriage. (Funny really, taking into account that the Civil Partnership Act was passed in 2004). I've no idea who was Mr. Murray hanging out with a decade ago, but me, a working-class kid from Balkans, barely knew
...more
Mike
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murray has a wonderfully even-handed approach to his topic. Being gay himself, he might easily have pushed this way of life as more important than others. But he looks at it objectively, which is an excellent achievement. The same objectivity addresses the other issues in the book: feminism, trans, gender, race. He never minces matters, calling a spade a spade when it certainly is one, but equally he spends time looking for ways out of the current mire in which the West is embroiled. And there's ...more
Tim Reisner
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Audiobook read by author.) I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I find myself siding very much with those who believe that the world has gone a bit mad. Notwithstanding, sometimes a bit of madness is required to change things. I can't deny that there's a lot of injustice in the world. But neither can I ignore that which seems evident to me, namely that there are are countries with more and less injustice. Right now the West doesn't seem such a bad place to live. And certainly better ...more
Dai Pryce
Destined from its conception to divide opinions; one’s perception of ‘The Madness of Crowds’ is likely to depend on where you fall on the ‘wokeness scale’. If you subscribe to the whole Cultural Marxism/ intersectionality deal, then you will likely be nashing your teeth as you read Mr. Murray’s ‘bigoted’ words. On the other hand, if you think that ‘white privilege’ is a made up concept, and don’t understand how there can be 98 genders, then this book will be a difficult read and likely have you ...more
Julian
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-ficcion
Douglas Murray is such a sane, calm voice in a sea of hysterical overreactions over the social causes of today. He carefully threads landmine after landmine, exploring today's perceptions about topics like women, race, gay and trans. He raises questions and constantly reminds us that we're implementing solutions to problems that we haven't even fully discussed, let alone understood.

I was particularly shocked when reading of a student in Britain who was addressed with a preferred pronoun at
...more
Daniel
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intersectionality is covered in decent depth through the use of historical and anecdotal evidence. The ultimate conclusion is that it's destructive to humanity rather than helpful. Shades of gray are all but gone in exchange for black and white, with outrage coming from the Left over everything. Be sure to understand that "Left" is not the same as "Liberal".

A lot of assertions are made in this book and I largely agree with them, with one big disagreement. I do not for a moment believe straight
...more
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Douglas Kear Murray is a British neoconservative writer and commentator. He was the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion from 2007 until 2011, and is currently an associate director of the Henry Jackson Society.

Murray appears regularly in the British broadcast media, commentating on issues from a conservative standpoint, and he is often critical of Islamic fundamentalism. He writes for a
...more
“If somebody has the competency to do something, and the desire to do something, then nothing about their race, sex or sexual orientation should hold them back. But minimizing difference is not the same as pretending difference does not exist. To assume that sex, sexuality and skin colour mean nothing would be ridiculous. But to assume that they mean everything will be fatal.” 4 likes
“If two people are in disagreement about something important, they may disagree as amicably as they like if it is just a matter of getting to the truth or the most amenable option. But if one party finds their whole purpose in life to reside in some aspect of that disagreement, then the chances of amicability fade fast and the likelihood of reaching any truth recedes.” 2 likes
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