• Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

  • By: Charles MacKay
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 27 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why do otherwise intelligent individuals form seething masses of idiocy when they engage in collective action? Why do financially sensible people jump lemming-like into hare-brained speculative frenzies - only to jump broker-like out of windows when their fantasies dissolve? We may think that the Great Crash of 1929, junk bonds of the '80s, and over-valued high-tech stocks of the '90s are peculiarly 20th century aberrations, but Mackay's classic - first published in 1841 - shows that the madness and confusion of crowds knows no limits, and has no temporal bounds. These are extraordinarily illuminating, and, unfortunately, entertaining tales of chicanery, greed and naiveté. Essential for any student of human nature or the transmission of ideas.

©2015 Gildan Media, LLC (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

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  • J.
  • 07-05-16

People don't change

This book so captures the irrationality of human beings it's a shock to remember that it was written in 1841. It doesn't take much to steer groups of people to actions that go against their interest and defy rational explanation. How else to explain Trump? The sections on John Law and the Dutch tulip mania are Mackay's best remembered studies. Gardner is one of my favorite American narrators.

14 people found this helpful

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No analysis of the why just the what.

I was looking for a book that gave insights into the why of the human behavior in these instances but this book just seems to be long drawn out stories of the what happened. stopped a few chapters in and will be returning. Not what I thought.

1 person found this helpful

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a little repetitive

Grover Gardner is always easy to listen to but the book was a little repetitive.

9 people found this helpful

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People believe amazing things for amazing reasons

(As posted in Good reads)
People get trapped and involved in so many ridiculous things! For instance: did you read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? Did you know that Nicholas Flammel (sp) WAS a real live person, an alchemist who really WAS searching for the sorcerer's Stone? There were a lot of alchemists and people searching for the sorcerer's stone, and many who actually believed in the magic and unbelievable qualities thereof. And many people were able to scam huge numbers of the populace into believing the unbelievable!
And then there were witches. We're all familiar with the Salem witch trials, but well before that, in Europe huge numbers of people were hanged and or burned because SOMEONE claimed them to be witches!
And so on…
This book points out some of the more egregious beliefs and activities held in earlier times based on religion, greed, hatred, and lack of knowing almost any science and true reasons for natural differences or phenomena. And we still have to fight against a lot of it even now; you can't be accepted or respected just because you're different or not part of the majority in one way or another! And it's still allowed :-(

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Not the book I thought I was buying,

I thought this book was by Douglas Murray's The Madness of Crowds, Wish I could get my money back. .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Zumbujani
  • 02-25-19

Funny And Informative

It was an epic feat finishing this book but it was so enjoyable. I was listening to this in my walks in the country during the summer and will cherish the laughs it gave me.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-21-22

Great Case Studies of Crowd Psychology

This book offers very interesting insights into human psychology. The more things change, the more they remain the same.