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Look Inside Crowds, Psychology, and Politics, 1871–1899

Crowds, Psychology, and Politics, 1871–1899


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Psychology

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521032490

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About the Authors
  • Jaap van Ginneken's study explores the social and intellectual history of the emergence of crowd psychology in the late nineteenth century. Both the popular work of the French physician LeBon and his predecessors are shown to be influenced and closely connected with both the dramatic events and academic debates of their day. Although LeBon is generally attributed as having created the field of crowd psychology, this study demonstrates how he derived most of his key concepts from immediate predecessors, yet refused to acknowlege his debt to them. Van Ginneken traces the descendants and heirs of the original authors throughout Europe, using unpublished correspondence to shed light on their mutual relations. Recognizing that LeBon's work was by far the most popular, the success of his work is shown to have a decisive influence on many major political leaders of the twentieth century, ranging from Theodore Roosevelt and Charles de Gaulle to Mussolini and Hitler.

    • Provides an international and historiographical account of crowd psychology
    • Highly readable text
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Van Ginneken has written the most thorough study available in any language of the origins and character of European 'crowd psychology' in the last three decades of the 19th century … This is a concise, lively, thoughtful, accurate, and endlessly informative history …' Contemporary Psychology

    'This is a work of careful and detailed schoarship that deserves both scholarly and general readers … is now certainly the most complete and balanced account of the early history of crowd psychology available.' Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

    'Crowds, Psychology and Politics is an informative and useful addition to the literature, and throws new light on several of the less well-known theorists and on why this branch of social science should have crystallized in the last years of the nineteenth century.' The Times Literary Supplement

    'This is an ambitious project, and one that is braodly successful … In all these fields, Van Ginneken shows an easy mastery both of the literature and of previously unexploited primary sources.' Nature

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521032490
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.411kg
    • contains: 37 b/w illus. 7 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures, maps and tables
    1. The revolutionary mob: Taine, psychohistory and regression
    2. The criminal crowd: Sighele, criminology and semi-responsibility
    3. A missing link: Fournial, anthropology and the priority debate
    4. The era of the crowd: LeBon, psychopathology and suggestion
    5. The era of the public: Tarde, social psychology and interaction
    Summary and conclusions

  • Author

    Jaap van Ginneken, Universiteit van Amsterdam

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