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American Thinker Eric Hoffer
Investor's Business Daily ^ | 3 March 2006 | Staff

Posted on 03/03/2006 1:54:45 PM PST by Kitten Festival

As the scent of burning electrical wire and the pulverized dust settled over Manhattan in the wake of the 2001 World Trade Center attack, a certain book disappeared from New York City bookstore shelves.

Within a week, that book rocketed from No. 8,000 to No. 125 on Amazon.com rankings. It described the nature of fanatics, offering a powerful window of understanding into the people capable of blowing up those two towers.

"The True Believer" was published in 1951. Its author, Eric Hoffer, was a self-educated longshoreman born in New York City to a German cabinetmaker and his wife. His keen observations helped him become one of the greatest American philosophers.

He wrote 11 terse, thoughtful interpretations of behavior for fanatics, misfits, intellectuals and practical men of action. His work was so powerful that he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Ronald Reagan in 1982.

"You need only read one of his classics like 'The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements' to realize that you are seeing the work of an intellectual giant," wrote economist Thomas Sowell in a 2003 essay about Hoffer.

(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Miscellaneous; Philosophy; US: California
KEYWORDS: biography; commonman; erichoffer; godsgravesglyphs; great; longshoreman; medaloffreedom; philosopher; reaganfavorite

1 posted on 03/03/2006 1:54:47 PM PST by Kitten Festival
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To: Kitten Festival
I recall seeing him on 60 minutes, when it was a real documentary show, ancient times..
2 posted on 03/03/2006 2:00:21 PM PST by boomop1 (there you go again)
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To: Kitten Festival

I've read the book (The True Believer) a couple times. Very thought-provoking.


3 posted on 03/03/2006 2:06:10 PM PST by DeweyCA
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To: Kitten Festival
The True Believer

Time for this term and VRWC and other rhetoric to besmirch Christians and Conservatives.

Today is March 3, 2006--the date you were clued into the future.

4 posted on 03/03/2006 2:06:20 PM PST by Quanah Parker
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To: Quanah Parker; Aussie Dasher
Today is March 3, 2006--the date you were clued into the future.

Unless you are reading this on the other side of the International Date Line. You guys already know all about the future.

5 posted on 03/03/2006 2:09:46 PM PST by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: Kitten Festival

*Waving hi* to Kitten. I haven't reread it in decades.


6 posted on 03/03/2006 2:12:25 PM PST by the Real fifi
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To: Quanah Parker

I wouldn't apply "True Believer" as Hoffer used it to Christians and Conservatives.


7 posted on 03/03/2006 2:13:30 PM PST by D-fendr
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To: Zionist Conspirator

I hadn't realized that there was a book about you. congrats.


8 posted on 03/03/2006 2:14:48 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: Kitten Festival

I often recommend "The True Believer". It helps explain a lot about the workings of the fanatic mind. Very appropriate for today's world.


9 posted on 03/03/2006 2:15:49 PM PST by Octar
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To: Kitten Festival
I read the "True Believer" in 1962 in High School, one of the most influential books that I have ever read.
10 posted on 03/03/2006 2:16:13 PM PST by Little Bill (A 37%'r, a Red Spot on a Blue State, rats are evil.)
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To: Kitten Festival
I have read everything I could find by Eric Hoffer, he truly was a great thinker & writer.
11 posted on 03/03/2006 2:22:42 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: Rodney King
I hadn't realized that there was a book about you. congrats.

You've never read Parashat Pinechas, have you?

I was born on Shabbat Pinechas!

12 posted on 03/03/2006 2:35:42 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (Venatata 'el ha'aron 'et ha`eidut 'asher 'ettein 'eleykha.)
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To: Quanah Parker
"The True Believer Time for this term and VRWC and other rhetoric to besmirch Christians and Conservatives. Today is March 3, 2006--the date you were clued into the future.

...huh?!?

13 posted on 03/03/2006 2:43:39 PM PST by 0siris
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To: D-fendr

He explains that difference in his book. He says that they are alike in taxonomy, but different in content and effect. He compared leftist and islamofascist freak fanatics to deadly nightshade that will poison you, and good committe Christians to ripe delicious tomatoes that will nourish you. The plants are in the same family but have different effects on human beings.


14 posted on 03/04/2006 7:35:39 AM PST by Kitten Festival (The thug of Caracas has got to go.)
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To: Kitten Festival

It's been over thirty years since I read it. Thank you very much for your informative post..


15 posted on 03/05/2006 12:41:29 AM PST by D-fendr
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A Blast from the Past, about a year old topic, for the Faith and Philosophy header in the Digest.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

16 posted on 03/07/2007 10:19:32 AM PST by SunkenCiv (I last updated my profile on Thursday, February 19, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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