An Analysis of Eric Hoffer's The True Believer : Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements book cover
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An Analysis of Eric Hoffer's The True Believer
Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements





ISBN 9781912128143
Published August 17, 2017 by Macat Library

 
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Book Description

Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements is one of the most widely read works of social psychology written in the 20th-century. It exemplifies the powers of creative thinking and critical analysis at their best, providing an insight into two crucial elements of critical thinking.

Hoffer is likely to go down in history as one of America’s great creative thinkers – a writer not bound by standard frameworks of thinking or academic conventions, willing to beat his own path in framing the best possible answers to the questions he investigated. An impoverished, largely unschooled manual laborer who had survived the worst effects of the Great Depression in the United States, Hoffer was a passionate autodidact whose philosophical and psychological education came from omnivorous reading. Working without the help of any mentors, he forged the fearsomely creative and individual approach to problems demonstrated in The True Believer.

The book, which earned him his reputation, examines the different phenomena of fanaticism – religious or political – and applies Hoffer’s analytical skills to reveal that, deep down, all ‘true believers’ display the same needs and tendencies, whatever their final choice of belief. Incisive and persuasive, it remains a classic.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the Text 

Who was Hoffer? 

What does The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements Say?  

Why does The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements Matter? 

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context 

Module 2: Academic Context 

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution 

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas 

Module 7: Achievement 

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today 

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text 

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr. Jonah S. Rubin holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago, focusing on memory and death in post-Franco Spain. He is currently a visiting professor in anthropology at Bard College, New York.