I found myself naming an alien Eric Hoffer in Admiral Wolf, and it seemed like a good time to leave a review of this book. The True Believer is a brilliant observation of the workings of mass movements: the psychology of the people who follow, the people who create the positive buzz (beware frustrated artists), and the people who fund them (beware the idle rich.)
Mr. Hoffer wrote this book after World War II, but this book is timeless. You’ll recognize the players if you are in a country that has experienced a mass movement of late. Mr. Hoffer does point out that they aren’t always bad–but they are always chaotic.
Eric Hoffer was a stevedore, and he wrote the True Believer in his spare time. The author’s biography ties in with some of the themes of the sci-fi I’m writing. Mr. Hoffer was brilliant…and he worked on a dock. He could have written this book today and self-published it, but he would never be traditionally published. He simply doesn’t have the credentials. As it was, he was noticed by President Eisenhower. I don’t believe that could happen today. If Ike mentioned this book before today’s press, they’d skewer him for praising the intellect of a man without a college diploma.