The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements

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

A part of Harper Perennial’s special “Resistance Library” highlighting classic works that illuminate the “Age of Trump”: A boldly packaged reissue of the classic examination of dangerous nationalist political movements.

“Its theme is political fanaticism, with which it deals severely and brilliantly.”    —New Yorker

A stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s, Eric Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while living in the railroad yards. The True Believer—the first and most famous of his books—was made into a bestseller when President Eisenhower cited it during one of the earliest television press conferences.

Called a “brilliant and original inquiry” and “a genuine contribution to our social thought” by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., this landmark in the field of social psychology is completely relevant and essential for understanding the world today as it delivers a visionary, highly provocative look into the mind of the fanatic and a penetrating study of how an individual becomes one.

 

 

 

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User Review  - larryerick - LibraryThing

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 ... Read full review

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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

Contents

The Desire for Change
6
The Desire for Substitutes
12
The Role of the Undesirables
24
Misfits
46
The Ambitious Facing Unlimited
49
UNITED ACTION AND SELFSACRIFICE
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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