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Publisher's Summary

The True Believer is a classic study on the rise and spread of mass movements along with a psychological profile of the fanatics who drive these violent political and social upheavals. Although the political landscape of 1951 is far different from that of the present era, Eric Hoffer's book has nevertheless provided us with remarkable descriptions that fit the kinds of people who join various extremist mass movements today. It is a terrifying portrait of the mind of the fanatic. All it takes to lure people into mass movements is something to attract those with a sense of personal failure. These misfits and outcasts are offered the opportunity of joining a cause that allows them to forget their own perceived defects. By joining a righteous cause, the individual believes he has transcended his inferior self. He disappears into "the movement" and takes on a new identity. By destroying the past and present, the fanatic seeks to build a future utopia that will make his former identity seem trivial. It is a frightening prospect, and potential followers are always at hand.

©1951 Estate of Eric Hoffer (P)2021 Audio Connoisseur

Critic Reviews

"This brilliant and original inquiry into the nature of mass movements is a genuine contribution to our social thought." (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.)

What listeners say about The True Believer

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Explains the Absurd Politics of Today

This book should be required reading at all levels of education written in 1951 by the Longshoreman Philosopher Eric Hoffer. There are so many gems of wisdom in this book that analyzes the many psychological factors involved in what attracts so many to revolutionary mass political movements. Originally meant to explain the strange attraction to such infamous autocrats as Stalin, Hitler, Lenin, Chiang Kai-Shek, and Sun Yat-Sen, Hoffer’s great book is extremely prescient of today’s political atmosphere and attraction to the absurd and Radical Chaos of the Democrat Marxist Socialism Movement in America. The personalities of leaders and followers of those attracted to Antifa and Black Lives Matter is exposed in shocking detail by analogy to earlier precursors! You will not regret listening to and reading this remarkable book. It remains a favorite book of mine especially after listening to George Guidall’s excellent rendition.

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True Believer

This book is a diagnosis of what happens with mass movements and their creation. Although Hoffer's book was written in late 50s with analysis of the last great war and communism rise, it is my belief that rereading his analysis is beneficial.

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Mass movements explained.

An essential read for our troubled, modern times. Insights and revelations abound. Those interested in the nature and psychology of individuals involved in a mass movement, any type of mass movement, will find a thorough analysis of the people, groups, events, and motivations involved.

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Griffin is an utter distraction

I knew going in that it was going to be shaky because Carlton Griffin was the reader, but I gave it a try. Yet, his over acting is a complete distraction. I’ll read the damn book.

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  • 12-02-21

Populistic

The book is very far from "scientific". Making very strong claims with no reference to evidence. Accordingly, the narration is unpleasant in tone and volume