Image of Scottish poet, journalist, and author Charles Mackay.

Charles Mackay

(1814 - 1889)

A Scottish poet, songwriter, novelist, and newspaperman, Mackay observed in his 1841 study of crowds and madness, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, “Every age has its peculiar folly.” Claiming this book saved him millions, American financier Bernard Baruch wrote a foreword to an edition in 1932 in which he quoted Friedrich Schiller: “Anyone taken as an individual is tolerably sensible and reasonable—as a member of a crowd he at once becomes a blockhead.” Mackay in the early 1840s was an assistant editor at the Morning Chronicle, working alongside Charles Dickens and William Hazlitt.

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