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Crowds and Power (1960)

by Elias Canetti

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1,4111413,402 (4.16)19
Crowds and Power is a revolutionary work in which Elias Canetti finds a new way of looking at human history and psychology. Breathtaking in its range and erudition, it explores Shiite festivals and the English Civil war, the finger exercises of monkeys and the effects of inflation in Weimar Germany. In this study of the interplay of crowds, Canetti offers one of the most profound and startling portraits of the human condition.… (more)
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» See also 19 mentions

English (8)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Even though I did not understand this book entirely, it made a considerable change in my way of thinking and looking at matters concerning not only crowds and power, but also other human activities and behaviors. I hope I will reread this book after a few years with a more improved and developed mind, and will be able to grasp better the concepts explained by this Nobel winning author. ( )
  Elgun.Hasanov | Mar 30, 2022 |
A book written with an individual, literary sense of research (power) backed up by a litany of references from ancient times to the 1950s (crowd), this book is a paradox of prophesy and outdatedness that strikes a chord due to Canetti's excellent writing. Some of the borrowed descriptions of rituals and events in different cultures are fascinating, while Canetti's writing is strongest when it is metaphorical and descriptive. On rare occasions in this monumental book the writing gets slow or old-fashioned, but 'Crowds and Power' is still a well of information and ideas that resonates today as much as when it was published. ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
While waiting for another book in a library, saw it on an open shelf, and remembered that few times somebody quoted it, but I still had not read it.

Well, I liked the style and language structure, but my German isn't yet good enough to read it fast enough.

So, picked up also the Italian version, and once in a while looked at both.

My main interest was the discussion about "mass", "meute" (pack), and other associated structural elements , as well as the taxonomy of behavioral patterns, as part of my review of material on cultural anthropology for some digital transformation publications.

Hopefully will re-read it in whole in German in due time. ( )
  aleph123 | Jan 27, 2019 |
Masa y poder es un libro escrito por Elias Canetti en de 1960, Premio Nobel de literatura en 1981. El libro aborda el tema de la relación entre los diversos tipos de "masa" y las estrategias de control y poder mediante las cuales los gobernantes y líderes políticos pueden dirigir a dichas masas. Constituye uno de los aportes más importantes de Canetti al ámbito de la sociología y de la antropología social.
  ckepfer | Dec 31, 2017 |
This is not Margaret Mead's 'Coming of Age in Samoa,' but it does share a lot of the same 'impressionistic' style we also find in Mead's classic. In fact, Crowds and Power reads more like a fictional account at times than a "serious" attempt at anthropology or philosophy. And therein lies its secret perhaps: in essence, this book is a collection of stories, not a collection of essays. It is similar, in that sense, to The Earwitness (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1107912.Earwitness), a collection of vignettes.

This hybrid style makes for relatively easy reading: not too many endnotes, although there is an extensive bibliography attached, just so we don't go believing that this man made up everything all by himself. Recommended for anyone interested in exploring the universe of so many different types of crowds, and of the objects and tools of power, such as orders, questions, secrets and the command of time. Canetti makes for an eloquent guide into these fascinating, and often dark lands. ( )
1 vote MistahKurtz | Mar 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (40 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elias Canettiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Šuvajevs, IgorsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blumbergs, IlmārsCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jesi, FurioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stewart, CarolTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuin, JennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Crowds and Power is a revolutionary work in which Elias Canetti finds a new way of looking at human history and psychology. Breathtaking in its range and erudition, it explores Shiite festivals and the English Civil war, the finger exercises of monkeys and the effects of inflation in Weimar Germany. In this study of the interplay of crowds, Canetti offers one of the most profound and startling portraits of the human condition.

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