An important, engaging, shrewd historical treatise - Charles Mackays highly recommended Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds was first published in 1841 and studies the psychology of crowds and mass mania throughout history. Mackay included accounts of classic scams, grand-scale madness, and deceptions. Some of these include the Mississippi scheme that swept France in 1720, the South Sea bubble that ruined thousands in England at the same time, and the tulip mania of Holland when fortunes were made and lost on single tulip bulbs. Other chapters deal with fads and delusions that often sprang from valid ideas and causes -- many of which still have their followers today: alchemy and the philosophers stone, the prophecies of Nostradamus, the coming of comets and judgment day, the Rosicrucians, and astrology. Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds is an important historical treatise that modern readers will find fascinating, engaging, and shrewd as they see how history repeats itself, but that disastrous pitfalls can be avoided by understanding the cycles and patterns of greed based ignorance plays in promoting and perpetuating group hysteria in the fields of business and finance, politics and superstitions. When you are done with the book, I also hope you will also consider where else mania take over. These occur in consumption patterns (not unlike tulip bulbs), activities (remember disco?), businesses (franchised door-to-door selling), and entertainment (quiz shows will come and go many times). Be sure you watch out for your exposure to these mania as well. Avoiding wastes of time and resources are an important part of achieving true growth. An excellent book. It should be required reading for everyone. I hope you will buy and read this book, and share it with your children when they start to invest.