Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds is a history of popular folly by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841. The novel chronicles its subjects in three parts: "National Delusions", "Peculiar Follies", and "Philosophical Delusions". MacKay was an accomplished teller of stories, though he wrote in a journalistic and somewhat sensational style.
The subjects of Mackay's debunking include economic bubbles, alchemy, crusades, witch-hunts, prophecies, fortune-telling, magnetisers (influence of imagination in curing disease), shape of hair and beard (influence of politics and religion on), murder through poisoning, haunted houses, popular follies of great cities, popular admiration of great thieves, duels, and relics. Present day writers on economics, such as Andrew Tobias and Michael Lewis, laud the three chapters on economic bubbles. Scientist and astronomer Carl Sagan mentioned the book in his own discussion about pseudoscience, popular delusions, and hoaxes.
This edition has been formatted for your reader, with an active table of contents. It has also been annotated, with additional information about The Lost World and also Arthur Conan Doyle, including an overview, summary of volume I, summary of volume II, influence, modern responses, quotations, and biographical information.
Read alsoMemoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Volume 1
A history of popular follies, the book chronicles its subjects in three parts: “National Delusions”, “Peculiar Follies”, and “Philosophical Delusions”. The subjects of Mackay’s debunking include economic bubbles, alchemy, crusades, witch-hunts, prophecies, fortune-telling, magnetisers (influence of imagination in curing disease), shape of hair and…