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The Crowd

"The following work is devoted to an account of the characteristics of crowds. The whole of the common characteristics with which heredity endows the individuals of a race constitute the genius of the race. When, however, a certain number of these individuals are gathered together in a crowd for purposes of action, observation proves that, from the mere fact of their being assembled, there result certain new psychological characteristics, which are added to the racial characteristics and differ from them at times to a very considerable degree."-From the Preface to "The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind," a pivotal work in the field of group psychology which was written in 1895 by French social psychologist, Gustave Le Bon.
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This undistinguished account recalls a recent college graduate's travels from North Carolina to South Dakota on his way to the Pacific Coast and those he encountered, people ranging from an itinerant trumpeter and a certifiable psychopath met in Michigan to a hospitable farm family with whom DeTitta spent time in Minnesota. But he has no extraordinary adventures to relate nor does he seem to have come to any noteworthy revelations about himself. The book provides mildly pleasant reading and may interest young people about to undertake a like ``voyage of self-discovery,'' but others are likely to be bored. (Oct.)

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