Considered one of the great books of the twentieth century Crowds and Power was the work responsible for winning Elias Canetti the 1981 Nobel Prize. From the destructive behaviour of soccer crowds to the horror of tyrannical rulers and from Bushmen and Pueblo Indian rain dances to the pilgrimage to Mecca, the author takes us on a fascinating journey through anthropology, psychology, biology, religion and literature. Ranging from the deeply profound to the overtly controversial - from the finger exercises of monkeys to the hallucinations of alcoholics - this book will change forever the way you look at groups of people and realise their awesome potential to be manipulated for good or for evil. He concludes that 'If we would master power we must face command openly and boldly, and search for means to deprive it of its sting'. This book will change forever the way you look at groups of people and the whole concept of power.
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Simon Schama explains why this is one of his favourites...
Born in Bulgaria and died in Hampstead, his first language the Hebrew-medieval Spanish hybrid, Ladino, Canetti was one of the most eccentric and extraordinary writers of the last century. His great novel, Auto-da-Fe will give anyone with a passion for books serious and prolonged nightmares.
Crowds and Power puts its finger unerringly on one of the great motor forces of modern history: the capacity of crowds to behave as more than the sum of their parts; to take on the characteristics of a collective organism, with a capacity to digest, multiply and kill. Himself a survivor of horrors (Canetti left Germany in 1938), his exacting eye takes in the grim retrospect of Europe but puts it in the context of tribal rituals in Africa, Amazonia and Australia.
Like most of the really great works of history, Canettiís work, part ethnography, part social psychology, defies neat classification. But its message, not always welcome is - this too is what itís like to be part of the human pack.Book Description:
How do crowds work? What is the nature of their unique creation - the demagogue? This is the renowned and original analysis of one of this century's most threatening and influential phenomena by the nobel prize-winning thinker.
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Book Description Penguin Putnam~trade, 1973. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140036164