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The section on alchemysts focuses primarily on efforts to turn base metals into gold. Mackay notes that many of these practitioners were themselves deluded, convinced that these feats could be performed if they discovered the correct old recipe or stumbled upon the right combination of ingredients.

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Although alchemists gained money from their sponsors, mainly noblemen, he notes that the belief in alchemy by sponsors could be hazardous to its practitioners, as it wasn't rare for an unscrupulous noble to imprison a supposed alchemist until he could produce gold.

The book remains in print, and writers continue to discuss its influence, particularly the section on financial bubbles. See Goldsmith and Lewis, below. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Crusades. See also: Witch trials in the early modern period. See also: Alchemy. London: Richard Bentley.

Retrieved 29 April Mackay, Charles II 1 ed. III 1 ed. Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. Retrieved 23 March The Real Price of Everything. Cosimo, Inc. Retrieved 8 June Famous First Bubbles. My Own Story. New York: Henry Holt. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 22 June Retrieved The Sandman Vol.

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Description In reading the history of nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities; their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object, and go mad in its pursuit The dotcom craze of the s. The housing bubble of the s. It may seem like we today invented mass insanity, but it's always been with us, as this classic expose of the madness of humanity demonstrates in a way that's both disturbing and highly entertaining.

First published in across multiple volumes but presented here in one omnibus volume, this enlightening work explores such societal delusions and aberrations as: - the Mississippi Scheme, in which an 18th-century Scottish financier created a stock bubble in France for land in the New World - the infamous tulip mania that seized Holland in the s - the grip that alchemists, with their claims of turning lead to gold, held over the European imagination during the Enlightenment - the centuries-long Crusades of the Middle Ages - the witch hunts that plagued both sides of the Atlantic in the 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries - and many more.

A powerful study of human psychology on a cultural scale, this important work is startlingly relevant today A renowned poet and songwriter, he also authored a Dictionary of Lowland Scotch.

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