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The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (1951)

por Eric Hoffer

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1,857246,574 (4.16)53
"[Eric Hoffer] is a student of extraordinary perception and insight. The range of his reading and research is vast, amazing. [The True Believer is] one of the most provocative books of our immediate day."--Christian Science Monitor The famous bestseller with "concise insight into what drives the mind of the fanatic and the dynamics of a mass movement" (Wall St. Journal) by Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer, The True Believer is a landmark in the field of social psychology, and even more relevant today than ever before in history. Called a "brilliant and original inquiry" and "a genuine contribution to our social thought" by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The True Believer is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the machinations by which an individual becomes a fanatic.… (mais)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 24 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I found myself continually wondering why the book had nothing to say about the current social justice movement; it was so spot on about everything, I figured it had to have been written recently. If you consider 60 years ago to be "recent", I guess that's true.

This book doesn't have a lot of good things to say about human nature, nor is it very happy, but I found myself completely enthralled. By far the best book I've read in the last few years. ( )
  isovector | Dec 13, 2020 |
This was an unusual read for me. I have never read much philosophy. I always thought I should, and part of me thought I would enjoy reading philosophy. And then a friend who I have a little back and forth with on politics and other broad concepts suggested I read this. He described Eric Hoffer as his favorite philosopher. Of course, that led me to wondering if we still have philosophers these days and could you make a living as a philosopher in our world today. Or was I kidding myself and all kinds of people were making a living that way and just not calling it that.

Anyhow, on to the book. Well, it wasn’t what I expected. It was written like it was a manual for engineering a mass movement or preventing one. It included a very disciplined categorization of personality types and their implications. It felt very textbook-like or academic in nature, but also very applicable to the world we live in, not only when it was written in 1951 but today. What bothered me about this book was its negative view of the world. It was certainly written with the assumption that all mass movements are manipulative in nature and if their intentions are positive or desirable, it is only by accident. While this might typically be the case, it is disappointing to think that there can’t be a mass movement with some positive objective in mind. Where I felt the book was lacking is that it didn’t even address this possibility. If it had addressed the possibility and shown such a scenario to be very unlikely or even impossible, I would have found it much easier to digest Hoffer’s analysis. Without this broader analysis, though, I found it difficult to buy completely into his analysis and logic. ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
I bought this book for $0.50 for a course I took as an undergraduate over 50 years ago. It still sticks with me. ( )
  hcubic | Jun 20, 2020 |
I'm not entirely sure what I think of this book. It's a readable short book of why people are attracted to mass movements, why they become fanatics. It covers a lot of past historical situations and it's easy to see it as continuing to be relevant today. But in places it feels like opinion masquerading as history or sociology. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 4, 2018 |
Go ahead, read all you can about the birth of Islam, the Protestant Reformation, the Puritan reforms, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the rise of Communism, the Third Reich, and the Greater Japanese Empire. Just knowing the terms and a bit about associated leaders will not do. In fact, watching two-hour PBS documentaries on each will not suffice either. You need to know some real details, including any significant disagreements between scholars on what and why certain things happened in each. Simple unquestioned history like George Washington chopping down a cherry tree is simply not up to the task. Now. Read this book. You will then avoid feeling frequently like you just showed up -- finally -- for the last class of the semester when the professor summarizes everything that will be on the final exam, leaving you knowing what the professor just said, but not not why it was said. The author does very little to give detail on why he sees things a certain way, but he is fully expecting the reader to already be up to speed on what he is talking about. The result for me was frequent amazing insight and more than a few times where I wanted to pull out my history books to get caught up. Perhaps, more to the point, there is a great deal that applies directly to current American politics: the Trump and Sanders campaigns in particular. (The word "frustration" gets mentioned a lot in the book.) While I clearly did not get full benefit from the book, I am excited to dig further into the history in which I am lacking to further enhance what is covered in the book. ( )
1 vote larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
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Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Eric Hofferautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Apenes, GeorgTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hook, SidneyIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Scott, Anita WalkerDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Serrão, SusanaTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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To MARGARET ANDERSON
without whose goading finger
which reached me across a continent
this book
would not have been written
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"[Eric Hoffer] is a student of extraordinary perception and insight. The range of his reading and research is vast, amazing. [The True Believer is] one of the most provocative books of our immediate day."--Christian Science Monitor The famous bestseller with "concise insight into what drives the mind of the fanatic and the dynamics of a mass movement" (Wall St. Journal) by Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Eric Hoffer, The True Believer is a landmark in the field of social psychology, and even more relevant today than ever before in history. Called a "brilliant and original inquiry" and "a genuine contribution to our social thought" by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., The True Believer is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the machinations by which an individual becomes a fanatic.

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