Tag Archives: sociology

Wrapping on relics, or, The Madness of Crowds ends

  Mackay reserves the final chapter of his Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (known simply as The Madness of Crowds in all my tweets about it and most of these entries) with a few words about relics. … Continue reading

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The undiscussed secret to stopping duelling (or any popular madness): public shaming

  Mackay continues to catalogue the various instances of duelling throughout Europe in the latter half of his chapter on duels and ordeals. Such a thing might make it sound like The Madness of Crowds breaks down into plain miscellany … Continue reading

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Mackay decries duelling, gives a brief history

  Mackay, as a learned man of the nineteenth century, is quick and stern in his dismissal of duels. He decries them as the brute’s means to justice, and regards the duel mania that happened off and on in Europe as … Continue reading

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Mackay makes room for the madnesses of cities and for thieves

  Maybe as an extension of his break from some of the more serious matters that he’s tackled, Mackay continues his look at some of the more minor madnesses that effect crowds over his next two chapters. One of these … Continue reading

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The Madness of Crowds turns to haunted houses

  Mackay makes no bones about being skeptical about haunted houses. His chapter on the subject encompasses four major stories of such places, each ending with a perfectly mundane explanation. Actually, given the structure of households into the nineteenth century, all … Continue reading

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The Madness of Crowds tackles slow poisoning

  Maybe there was a page limit that Mackay had to meet. Some sort of standard length for Victorian miscellanies that’s been lost to history. Otherwise, I just don’t understand how “slow poisoning” is considered a “madness of crowds” worthy … Continue reading

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Mackay makes an end of the witch craze

  Weirdly, Mackay ends the chapter on the European witch craze a few pages before the chapter’s end. By page 575 he’s analyzed the final major witch trial in Wurzburg, Germany in 1749. In doing so he points out the strange … Continue reading

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