Mass Movements and their origins

The True Believer by Eric Hoffer (Book of the Day)

“How do I find good books to read?” is a question I’m often asked. When you’re like me and you’re reading 200+ books per year, and you’re targeting a niche like business/marketing, you soon find yourself running short of good titles pretty quick.

So that’s why I adopted my “read what they read” rule. Often, intelligent writers are readers (like 99.9999% of the time), and they’ve got great books that they’ve read. Sooner or later, you also learn that most folks just write what they’ve learned from other books. Kinda like how Ryan Holiday’s The Obstacle is the Way and Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck are both just riffs on Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations or how The 48 Laws of Power is an updated Sun Tzu Art of War. Therefore, it makes sense to read the authors that these guys and gals are reading/recommending.

Recently, I’d read both of Russell Brunson’s awesome marketing funnel books Dotcom Secrets and Expert Secrets. In the latter, he mentions Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer repeatedly. Apparently, this book, originally written in 1951, is the authority on how mass social movements are created. It uses plenty of historical examples, even narrowing down the common traits of fanatics. Even though this book was a response to both the Nazi movements of the 1930’s and the Bolshevik Revolution before it, it’s apparent that the context of Hoffer’s content is relevant today with populist movements in both Europe and America (see: Brexit and Trumpism respectively).

It’s a short read–about 160 pages–and costs about $8 new on Amazon. Feed your brain, “read what they read”, and get ready to have your mind blown. You’ll never look at the world the same way again.

Oh and by the way, Eric Hoffer was totally an autodidact. Love it.



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