Book extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds
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Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds
Charles Mackay, Scottish poet, journalist, and editor was best known in his day for his verses, some of which were set to music. The book has been reprinted often since. We present the second edition here. The two-volume set did not number the chapters. Occasional typos are corrected, and a few corrections are made for consistency. Periods after subtitles are dropped. Lauren Landsburg.
As with any true classic, once it is read it is hard to imagine not having known of it--and there is the compulsion to recommend it to others. Charles Mackay was born in Perth Scotland. His mother died shortly after his birth, and his father, who had been in turn a Lieutenant on a Royal Navy sloop captured and imprisoned for four years in France and then an Ensign in the 47th foot taking part in the ill-fated Walcheren Expedition where he contracted malaria, sent young Charles to live with a nurse in Woolwich in He was a friend of influential figures such as Charles Dickens and Henry Russell, and moved to London to work on The Illustrated London News in , and he became Editor of it in He was a correspondent for The Times during the American Civil War, but thereafter concentrated on writing books.
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I understand completely why this text was reissued: the parallels to contemporary events like the dot-com bubble, the housing bubble, the crash of and frenzied investment in Iraqi infrastructure and petroleum projects are so striking as to almost seem contrived. It's like history has conspired to bear out MacKay's thesis to perfection: you could hardly hope for better validation outisde of a laboratory! The illumination cast by his thesis itself is probably worthy of a five-star rating, but I found the first section on Paris to be excessively detailed and frankly tedious. While the book is a must-read for anyone who wants to see maxims about the value of historical knowledge played out, the actual reading of it might be a bit of a chore. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.