The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

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Harper Collins, May 10, 2011 - Social Science - 192 pages
15 Reviews

“[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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - dono421846 - LibraryThing

A pithy philosophical rumination on the nature and qualities of the "true believer." In sum, this is a frustrated individual who seeks to flee his meaningless life, to abjure liberties and find ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mbmackay - LibraryThing

Wow! What an unexpected gem of a book. Explains why fanatics & true believers are not subject to logic. Not complete - but hits the spot.! Uses Hitler & USSR as examples but explains, at least in part ... Read full review

Contents

The Desire for Change
6
The Desire for Substitutes
12
The Role of the Undesirables
24
Misfits
46
The Ambitious Facing Unlimited
49
Preface
58
Unifying Agents
91
Men of Words
130
The Fanatics
143
Good and Bad Mass Movements
153
Notes
169
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Eric Hoffer (1902 -- 1983) was self-educated. He worked in restaurants, as a migrant fieldworker, and as a gold prospector. After Pearl Harbor, he worked as a longshoreman in San Francisco for twenty-five years. The author of more than ten books, including The Passionate State of Mind, The Ordeal of Change, and The Temper of Our Time, Eric Hoffer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.

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