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The Madness of Crowds

Gender, Race and Identity
Narrated by: Douglas Murray
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Politics
5 out of 5 stars (1,595 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In his devastating new book The Madness of Crowds, Douglas Murray examines the 21st century’s most divisive issues: sexuality, gender, technology and race. He reveals the astonishing new culture wars playing out in our workplaces, universities, schools and homes in the names of social justice, identity politics and ‘intersectionality’.  

We are living through a postmodern era in which the grand narratives of religion and political ideology have collapsed. In their place have emerged a crusading desire to right perceived wrongs and a weaponisation of identity, both accelerated by the new forms of social and news media.

Narrow sets of interests now dominate the agenda as society becomes more and more tribal - and, as Murray shows, the casualties are mounting.   

Readers of all political persuasions cannot afford to ignore Murray’s masterfully argued and fiercely provocative book, in which he seeks to inject some sense into the discussion around this generation’s most complicated issues. 

He ends with an impassioned call for free speech, shared common values and sanity in an age of mass hysteria.

©2019 Douglas Murray (P)2019 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic Reviews

"Simply brilliant. Reading it to the end, I felt as though I’d just drawn my first full breath in years. At a moment of collective madness, there is nothing more refreshing - or, indeed, provocative - than sanity. (Sam Harris, author of five New York Times best-sellers and host of the Making Sense podcast)

"Whether one agrees with him or not, Douglas Murray is one of the most important public intellectuals today." (Bernard-Henri Lévy) 

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An Urgent Read for Our Over-woke Times

An excellent and thoughtful critique of the pitfalls of social justice theory, identity politics, critical race theory, and intersectionality. Over the course of a decade, I've spent a lot of time in groups that would easily be described as "social justice groups", and I've experienced firsthand the sliding of these groups into unreasonableness and counterproductive behavior over the last few years. Douglas brings much-needed clarity to some of the most controversial social and political ideas of our time. I strongly recommend my fellow lefties give this a read and give Murray's analysis careful consideration. His performance on the audiobook is wonderful and entertaining.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant and required listening for all people

This book is the answer to the questioning and baffled minds of our time. Douglas' incisive and insightful commentary on our current situation, especially as regards the breach we may feel within our identity-obsessed branch of political and societal 'debate', has arrived not a minute too soon. Full marks for this book. Buy and listen now.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Foucauldian hell

This is a mad journey into Foucauldian-Marxist utopia that became reality. Brilliantly written book gives pleasure and concern in the same time.

12 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Genius socio-political observations

best socio-political academia in decades articulated brilliantly. possibly the most important critique of our times, with solutions suggested . if you dont find this thoroughly captivating of interest, then you probably are part of the problems described here ;)

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Murray is the Messiah

The Madness of Crowds is the antidote to the poison we have collectively ingested as self-loathing Western Societies. Murray is slaying the last dragon of our time, and simultaneously delivering us from evil.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An unflinching look at todays apparent societal reorganization

The author lays out a compelling case for the reader to question today’s prevailing orthodoxy in the social, political, and indeed moral/ethical spheres of existence. Replete with examples that, while perhaps not entirely mainstream, but certainly far more representative than would be hoped in today’s progressive world, Douglas Murray uncovers contradictions and inconsistencies that any thinking individual must consider once being made aware of them.
A worthwhile read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant in every way

Murray makes his points pragmatically and with precision, concluding powerfully with short sound bites.

If his polemic isn’t already exquisite enough, it is topped off, conflated by his narration; delivered with the right amount of indignation and passion. Better than the book alone!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Important contribution to the discussion

Murray's case is strong and both his reading and logic superb. He carefully lays out the logic ( and in some places, the lack thereof) of the current states of many of the so-called justice movements of our time. This is a must-read/listen for anyone wishing to engage in serious debate on the issues.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Almost foundational for the 21st century.

It’s difficult to think of a more important book that has been written in the 21st century so far.

We all intuitively know the world has gone stark raving mad, but far too few have either the courage, the will or the common sense to argue the matter with contemporaries of reprobate minds.

This book should, at the very least, save the lives of many children who’s parent take the reasoned arguments of the book seriously.

DM however, like many of today’s atheistic philosophers, comes close to the reason why the world has gone mad, but very reluctant to continue toward accepting any absolute, lest he find what he was not looking for.

Well done DM.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely amazing

A masterpiece. Well thought, well written, well played. A must read in todays culture of insanity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • E. Gray
  • 09-20-19

Fabulous listen!

Always love Douglas Murray’s writing - this book is as witty and fascinating as ever. Murray glides over the landmine topics of our time with the ease and grace of a swan. The clarity with which Murray thinks and speaks is exceptional and this book is an absolute *must-read* for all free thinking people.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • MR CHRIS BOWIE
  • 11-01-19

Congratulations Douglas, a masterpiece.

This is required reading/listening for anyone interested in society, politics, or the media.

Douglas nails the hypocrisy of the SJW's in today's confused world, and asks very challenging and thought provoking questions of the listener. His section on the lack of forgiveness for example has been something I have been thinking on for days - he is absolutely right and has made me consider problems I had not thought about before. At turns through this, I have been angered by some of the historical abuses that Douglas documents, through to heartened that Douglas has raised these important topics in such a thorough, diligent and rational way, without excessive emotion nor rancour.

I also applaud Douglas's vocal performance. His nuanced delivery of irony is a remarkable picture of understatement, and all the more delicious for it. Furthermore, he has perfected the cadence of his speech: slow enough to allow the listener to properly consider and digest the sentence, without being so slow as to be boring.

I would urge anyone sitting on the fence about buying this to dive in and be prepared to be both angered and enlightened.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Luca Nicotra
  • 10-07-19

Murray nails it

Murray goes to the heart of what's probably the defining set of issues of our time. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the key topics: gender, race, etc. He recounts how the moral force each of these issues carry with it has been appropriated and distorted by actors who have decided the purpose of political action is to sow discord rather than devise a way for all differences to exist togethet in as much harmony as can be achieved. Everyone speaking on these issues is going to have to be able to deal with the arguments he puts forward. Remarkable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-20-19

Excellent

An excellent book, a rare sensible analysis of an increasingly mad world. I highly recommend.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • SwissTony
  • 10-10-19

A brilliant indictment of an incoherent ideology

Murray documents the West's own version of the Maoist cultural revolution in sobering detail, it's incoherence, it's inconsistencies and most worryingly of all the extent that it has infected the wider society. The West is dying, this book identifies the poisoner.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • P Howorth
  • 10-09-19

Wow.

The only thing better than reading a Douglas Murray book is listening to him read that book to you.
This was such a well written and presented outline of all the maddening events of recent years in SJW circles, with what seem like common sense solutions and conclusions given at the end.
There were still a lot of instances of bad behaviour laid out in this book that I wasn't aware of, and for that I am glad it was Douglas Murray who wrote the book telling all.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan J Borthwick
  • 10-08-19

The most important intellectual of our time.

Fantastically written and all the better for being read by the author,a must read.
I cannot recommend this highly enough.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris Rawli
  • 10-08-19

A balanced approach to diversity and inclusion

Great storytelling and balanced insights about a tough topic to try and fully understand in today’s world where everyone has a voice.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-19

I think this is the best book I’ve read on current affairs

Douglas Murray encapsulates perfectly many of the views you may already have about the madness of the current age and then encourages you to think more clearly and critically about the way societies most contentions issues intersect.

A wonderful book which I’m sure will be referenced unfairly by many who would most benefit from analysing their current positions.

If I could score it ten out of five I would.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard Denton
  • 10-06-19

Excellent. An antidote to today's bigots

The book smartly and concisely defeats the creeping authoritarianism of those who wish to divide

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Garry
  • 10-25-19

Thank you for attacking these subjects Douglas.

If Douglas wasn't gay then he might be attacked for even contemplating some of these subjects. Being a white 'privileged'' male & not Trans, no doubt there will be plenty of other accusations. To those potential accusers, I recommend they read the book in it's entirety. "A brave assault on those that seem to find meaning by ranting on social media"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-19

A book of the moment

As the books title suggests, the internet and social media have truely enabled what may have been minority views previously, to be broadcast far and wide. This has brought with it keyboard warriors who are emboldened to drive a specific PC culture gone mad, and call out those who aren’t towing the relevant tribal line of the moment.

The book does an excellent job of bringing up the most current egregious examples of, typically far left wing, “wokeness” gone mad.

For the uninitiated, this book would be particularly enlightening to see the hypocrisy, inconsistency, and absurdity of many of the positions held by social justice groups in the modern day. The book also continually highlights the dangers each of the various examples brings with it, were society to adopt the views whole cloth.

One area I would have loved to have seen more time dedicated to is what as a society are we to do about all this. Murray does a great job of carrying the reader along narratively, however only devotes a small portion to what we should do next. Considering how much of a problem this extreme PC culture is having today on many aspects of a persons daily life, it seems there is ample ground (and appetite) to explore more deeply how we could dig ourselves out of this mess.

I certainly enjoyed the book, and Murray’s oral performance was engaging. I’d recommend the book most to those who either don’t see the problem being as big as it seems, or those who have brushed up against the social justice narrative but are confused about what’s going on more broadly.

For those who have been engaged with the subject area, and may already listen to podcasts like Joe Rogan, Sam Harris, Ben Shapiro, Eric Weinstein (all mentioned in the book), you’ll find a lot of familiar ground. Even then though, I still enjoyed the way all of the issues were wrapped together as a whole, and some of the interesting inconsistencies Murray highlighted that I’d never considered.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Bluedan1873
  • 11-14-19

Absolutely love it

Thought this was a great book discussing some of the main issues of our times. It's well researched and goes a long way to bringing balance by pointing out much of the hypocrisy of much of the left these days. Well worth a listen.

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  • Mick
  • 11-13-19

Identification and Cure

Best read this year regarding the issue of identity politics and were we are heading as western liberal democracies if society doesn't identify and recognize the cure.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Boyes
  • 11-12-19

A must read.

I have read and listened to around 40 books this year and this has been the best one. A refreshing, confronting and necessary journey into discussions that are being so passionately avoided.
Well done to the author on a very well researched and presented book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-11-19

Necessary reading

Murray's narration is clear, his take very original - in an over-saturated field of SJW-criticism - and his understated analysis scathing.

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  • Rakhesh Martyn
  • 11-10-19

Fantastic from start to finish

I can't wait to listen to this again! Murray's voice made the experience even better!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-06-19

Big let down

I genuinely enjoyed “the strange death of Europe” which was thought provoking and had an original viewpoint. I’ve also seen Murray live in conversation which was enjoyable. But this book felt like a bunch of joe rogan podcasts transcribed into something my grandmother would enjoy. Boring retelling of pop culture stories we’ve heard before, some rehashing of the dangers of identity politics, some clunky “hardware/software” concepts about gender & sexuality. Surface level critique of others viewpoints. A weak attempt to blame Marxism for the excesses of the left and a barely discussed reference to Nietzsche. Both presumably for the Peterson crowd. A fun little description of the mating behaviour of cuttlefish was a highlight. Maybe the publishers were putting the squeeze on to get something published?

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  • James
  • 11-06-19

Fascinating!

A well presented analysis of "progressive" PC culture. Food for thought for people of every political and ideological leaning.

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  • Daniel Leadbeatter
  • 11-05-19

provoking read, but shines light on sjw maddness

it is hard to read at times, as the complete cognitive dissonance some members of society dogmatically participate in is mind flaying and enrages the human spirit. But the end message hits home concisely to provide you with a roadmap on how to navigate the darkening maw which is known as political correctness and outrage culture.