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The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (La Psychologie des foules) - Softcover
Author: Gustave Le Bon
Publisher: Dover Publications
One of the most influential works of social psychology in history, The Crowd was highly instrumental in creating this field of study by analyzing, in detail, mass behavior. The book had a profound impact not only on Freud but also on such twentieth-century masters of crowd control as Hitler and Mussolini — both of whom may have used its observations as a guide to stirring up popular passions. In the author's words, "The masses have never thirsted after the truth. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim."
Although the volume focuses on crowd psychology, it is also brilliantly instructive on the effects of the generally accepted beliefs of a nation's citizenry on the processes of history. Among the topics covered here are general characteristics and mental unity of the crowd; the crowd's sentiments and morality; its ideas, reasoning power, and imagination; opinions and beliefs of crowds and the means used by leaders to persuade; classification of crowds, including criminal and electrical assemblages, as well as the functioning of criminal juries and parliamentary assemblies.
A must-read volume for students of history, sociology, law, and psychology, The Crowd will also be invaluable to politicians, statesmen, investors, and marketing managers. "Any study of crowd behavior, popular psychology, fascism, etc. would do well to begin with Le Bon's work." — Anson Rabinbach, Professor of History, Princeton University.
Reprint of La Psychologie des foules, 1896.
Publisher's Note: Some of the opinions presented in this book reflect attitudes that were common among some writers on social issues during the final years of the nineteenth century, in Europe and the United States , but no longer are common.
Introduction: The Era of Crowds
Book I The Mind of Crowds
Chapter I General Characteristics of Crowds--Psychological Law of Their Mental Unity
Chapter II The Sentiments and Morality of Crowds
Chapter III The Ideas, Reasoning Power, and Imagination of Crowds
Chapter IV A Religious Shape Assumed by All the Convictions of Crowds
Book II The Opinions and Beliefs of Crowds
Chapter I Remote Factors of the Opinions and Beliefs of Crowds
Chapter II The Immediate Factors of the Opinions of Crowds
Chapter III The Leaders of Crowds and Their Means of Persuasion
Chapter IV Limitations of the Variability of the Beliefs and Opinions of Crowds
Book III The Classification and Description of the Different Kinds of Crowds
Chapter I The Classification of Crowds
Chapter II Crowds Termed Criminal Crowds
Chapter III Criminal Juries
Chapter IV Electoral Crowds
Chapter V Parliamentary Assemblies