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The Delusions of Crowds

Why People Go Mad in Groups

William L Bernstein

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Grove Press
04 May 2021
Inspired by Charles Mackay's 19th century classic Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, William Bernstein engages with mass delusion with the same curiosity and passion, but armed with the latest scientific research that explains the biological, evolutionary and psychosocial roots of human irrationality. Bernstein tells the stories of dramatic religious and financial mania in western society over the last 500 years from the Anabaptist Madness that afflicted the Low Countries in the 1530s to the dangerous end times beliefs that animate and pervade today's polarised nations and from the South Sea Bubble to the Enron scandal and dot com bubbles of recent years. Through Bernstein's supple prose, the participants are as colourful as their motivation, invariably 'the desire to improve one's well being in this life or the next.' As revealing about human nature as they are historically significant, Bernstein's chronicles reveal the huge cost and alarming implications of mass mania as he observes that if we can absorb the history and biology of mass delusion, we can recognise it more readily in our own time and avoid its frequently dire impact.
By:   William L Bernstein
Imprint:   Grove Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Edition:   Export/Airside
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 155mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   800g
ISBN:   9781611854442
ISBN 10:   161185444X
Pages:   576
Publication Date:   04 May 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

William J. Bernstein is a neurologist, financial theorist, and historian whose books include A Splendid Exchange, Masters of the Word, The Birth of Plenty and The Four Pillars of Investing. He was the winner of the 2017 James R. Vertin ward from CFA Institute. He lives in Oregon.

Reviews for The Delusions of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups

Fascinating...Bernstein is an entertaining chronicler and analyst * The Times *


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