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The Madness of Crowds

Gender, Race and Identity
Written by: Douglas Murray
Narrated by: Douglas Murray
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
5 out of 5 stars (414 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

What the critics say

"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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Astounding

A true generational warning about the state of politics and open social warfare within the western world. The author pulls examples from every day occurrences to demonstrate the unthinkable level of hypocrisy that tramples reason on a daily basis.

I do not think that this book is politically slanted either, as it's more neutral in essence. It reports on increasing illogical perception of race, gender and identity politics.

In short this might just be one of the readings required in schools around the world of the madness of a 2000's society and how we barely escaped a Geroge Orwellian nightmare just in time......I hope.

3 people found this helpful

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Preaching to the choir and little else.

I got this book on the recommendation of Sam Harris because he implied that it was a study into groupthink and how modern Internet and outrage culture builds upon itself and can elevate previously fringe issue to the forefront. Instead, while a small portion of the book is devoted to this subject, the vast majority of it is just taking apart modern outrage culture, specifically on the issues of race and gender. It's more of an "anti-SJW" commentary, just presented in a more snobby tone.

I don't disagree with many of the points the author makes but this is just regurgitating the same points made by other commentators for years now, only with occasional credit given. If you have an interest in this book, you likely have heard and agree with most of these points already. If further affirmation is what you want, you'll get that here. If you wanted more of a dive into the theory of crowd-based hysteria, look elsewhere.

15 people found this helpful

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Social Critique Par Excellence

I struggle to think of a modern voice as clear and refined as Murray’s. Not only is the prose of the highest order, but Murray's reading of his own words makes one feel as if one is there in the room, speaking to him directly.
I would dare to say that the audiobook is probably the ultimate way to absorb this work. Many phrases are delivered with a certain acerbic bite that I can't imagine having quite the same impact without hearing Murray's delivery.
Murray is one of the rare intellectuals dipping into social commentary and critique who can, through his brilliant delivery and societal circumstance, get away with comments that, for many of us, could end our careers.
Do not miss this book. History will end up marking this book as a pivotal moment in the early 21st century culture wars.

5 people found this helpful

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Necessary but not sufficient

Great topic and compelling level-headedness. While Murray does a good job of identifying contradictions and pointing out the least valid views within the sphere of identity politics, there is too much reliance on anecdotal evidence, and not enough discussion of more rigorous research. It’s easy to go for the low-hanging fruit, but Murray missed an opportunity to frame issues in detailed scientific light.

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A must read

well researched and brave book on the dangers of intersectional identity politics. I will probably purchase a hard copy for my collection.

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  • JMS
  • 2020-04-05

Enjoyable listen

Murray’s main point is that, “Minimizing difference is not the same as pretending difference does not exist. To assume that sex, sexuality and skin colour mean nothing would be ridiculous. But to assume that they mean everything will be fatal.”

This listen is a fascinating perspective on oppression hierarchy, hysteria, and a reminder that all things “natural” are not automatically good or healthy (here’s looking at you, COVID19):

Full podcast review: https://anchor.fm/audiobookreviews/episodes/Review-of-The-Madness-of-Crowds-Gender--Race-and-Identity-by-Douglas-Murray-ebftea

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Masterpiece

A bullet proof, logically-complete, well-paced yet comprehensive look at the ever-more perplexing behaviours of bullies who hunt and haunt the internet, universities, corporations, and now really, society. Written and read by Douglas Murray, the author, exquisitely. A necessary and must read. Every bit gratifying and relieving.

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À écouter

Mes amis&connaissances de 2020 seront effarés par autant de vérités. Néanmoins, ayant un minimum de 30 ans de plus que la moyenne de mes amis&connaissances. Prenez le temps d'écouter. Il se trouve plus de lumière dans ce livre que dans la vie actuelle. Merci Douglas !

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  • TK
  • 2020-01-31

Terrible disappointment

Struggled to get past 2h. It was just an endless rant on historical accounts. It never got to the point. Just a random amalgamation of facts. I kept waiting for the author to get to the point, but I don't think he's trying to make a point or offer any analysis.

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stellar and timely read

found it well researched and insightful with excellent delivery. couldn't stop listening. high recommended listen.

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  • RBS
  • 2019-12-03

This book destroys WOKE MADNESS. Read it today.

I laughed more listening to this book than I have during many comedy shows. Frankly, Murray shows the Intersectional, Woke, blah-blah, academic-term-here movement to BE the comedy show. Social Justice Warriors should be questioned - they won't have facts - and then laughed at. The only way to reverse the madness.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 2020-02-10

Rebutting on SJW craziness!

Douglas Murray does a great job of taking on and destroying the madness of social justice warriors in THE MADNESS OF CROWDS. The final summarizing chapters are especially strong. Murray does a nice job of narrating his audio book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kyle
  • 2019-12-07

Extremely Relevant

Douglas Murray makes a number of arguments that I wish I had been exposed to during college. I'm thankful to have had the chance to encounter them today!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nexus X Humectress
  • 2019-12-07

Eloquent Explication

If you get one book this year, this is the one. Tells how social justice is antisocial and fosters injustice.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Justin J. Norman
  • 2019-09-26

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.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Murray
  • 2020-02-25

Fun but weak

Having interesting insights on the one side, on the other side it verges on conspiracy thinking when speaking of Marxism or the "left". The audiobook was fun to listen to, however, it lacks depth, rigor and accuracy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-12-02

Ends on a note of hope.

Douglas Murray is indeed a prolific author and commentator on the tribulations of the relationship modern social justice activism has developed with the populous. In this book he offers an insight to the listener into the world of that is constantly outraged. From the pitfalls of elite institutions of humanities in the west in their exercise of affirmative action to the modern activists cannibalizing and outcasting an older generation of activists.
Murray does offer a glimmer of hope at the end, one rooted the Christian traditions of the west.

Although Murray does a great job of jotting down the madness of the twitter verse and offers a sobering insight into the complexities of human sexuality, when it comes to the brewing madness of right-wing populist movements around the world and especially in Europe and America, he does what most politicians do - condemns it has a blot on the providence of the developed world and moves on. Maybe it’s too difficult or degrading a topic to broach for Murray’s genuine efforts to help any young person grow out of or navigate what he calls the trip wires of the social justice mine field and the real-world consequences one might have to face for stepping on them.

Although Murray’s performance is great and the book is wonderful to listen to, it does feel at times a tedious commentary on social media scandals, filibusters that Murray offers and the quite un-relatable schadenfreude on western academics and corporate diversity boards. Murray does end on a note of hope and positivity that really does make the book worth listening to and reading. Kudos to him for writing this book.

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  • Nikolay Schitov
  • 2019-09-19

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.

24 people found this helpful

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  • cc60537
  • 2019-12-25

jeeeeeezus

what a crock. talk about someone who is completely blind to the REAL oppression that occurs in our world. bleck.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-12-07

A luminous, honest and rational voice of our time

A necessary and vitally important message in a time of confusion. Tackling the highly infected, and inflated, topics around race, gender and sexuality, is not easy. Yet, Douglas Murray manages to do just this with wit, intelligence and eloquence. Occationally, there is a poetic veauty and humanness in his words that are really toyghing; a humbleness and wisdom so clearly lacking in the outrageous claims of today's social justice warriors.
This book is a must read for any sane person who, understandably, is feeling sad and perplexed at the weird and deranged shift in the conversation we have obswrved over the past decade. This book boosted my confidence in my ability to meet and engage in these complex issues with integrity of thought and heart.
Heartfelt thanks to Mr. Murray for his outstanding and genuinely brilliant work in this heavily mined field of views! May we all take inspiration from his example and dare speak truthfully in this time of confusion.

1 person found this helpful