Psychology of Crowds
Gustave le Bon
In this clear and vivid book, Gustave Le Bon throws light on the unconscious irrational workings of group thought and mass emotion as he places crowd ideology in opposition to free-thinking and independent minded individuals. He also shows how the behaviour of an individual changes when she/he is part of a crowd.
Le Bon was an eminent psychologist and sociologist. The ideas Le Bon explores in Psychology of Crowds are extremely relevant to today's society and were of pivotal importance in the early years of group psychology: Sigmund Freud's Massenpsychologie und Ich-Analyse (1921); (English translation Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, 1922) was based on Le Bon's work.
The orginal of this work, La Psychologie des Foules, was first translated anonymously into English possibly by a group of French students. Sparkling Books has corrected errors and anomalies in the original translation by reference to the Alcan edition. We have shortened a few passages but maintained the original footnotes and have added some footnotes of our own.
This book is divided into three sections:
Book One - The Mind of Crowds
General characteristics of crowds and the psychological law of their mental unity
The sentiments and morality of crowds
The ideas, reasoning power, and imagination of crowds
The religious nature of crowd convinctions
Book Two - The Opinions and Beliefs of Crowds
Indirect factors of the opinions and beliefs of crowds
Direct factors of the opinions of crowds
The leaders of crowds and their means of persuasion
Fixed beliefs and changeable opinions of crowds
Book Three - The Classification and Description of the Different Kinds of Crowds
The classification of crowds
Crowds committing crimes
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Australia: Angus & Robertson