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The Passionate State of Mind: And Other Aphorisms Paperback – 6 Jun 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Hopewell Publications (6 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933435097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933435091
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 0.7 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 426,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
Eric Hoffer is a thoughtful author, in the truest sense of the word. In his book, The Passionate State of Mind, Hoffer makes over two hundred deep and powerful statements to ponder and adjust to. I usually find that I read two or three of his aphorisms, put the book down, and spend several days evaluating my life with them. These "truisms" cover what motivates us to do the things we do, how we respond to others, and how to live life without catching on the usual snags. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a breath of fresh air in their thought life.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
91 of 91 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant follow-up to a classic 10 Feb. 2001
By "mingus64" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Eric Hoffer penned this book of aphorisms shortly after "The True Believer," undoubtably his masterpiece study on the psychology of mass movements and those who partake in them. This collection provides a similar challenge to the reader, as it takes poignant stabs into the human mind with Hoffer's trademark detachment.
At many points in reading this book, I had to stop and think about what one sentence had said, how others reflected in its mirror; indeed how I reflected in its mirror. It would take hours or even days before I could crack the book again and move on to the next selection. Many of the aphorisms remain ingrained in my head, and I often browse back through the book to reflect on what is there.
If you enjoyed "The True Believer," I believe you will duly enjoy "The Passionate State of Mind." If you are a lover of psychology/sociology, welcome to one of the classic books(and writers) of the 20th century. If you want a book that allows for intense reflection and self-examination, far more so than the hordes of so-called "self-help" books now available, this book can provide that and more. A great book by an all too forgotten penman.
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Powerful statements to ponder and adjust to 9 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Eric Hoffer is a thoughtful author, in the truest sense of the word. In his book, The Passionate State of Mind, Hoffer makes over two hundred deep and powerful statements to ponder and adjust to. I usually find that I read two or three of his aphorisms, put the book down, and spend several days evaluating my life with them. These "truisms" cover what motivates us to do the things we do, how we respond to others, and how to live life without catching on the usual snags. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a breath of fresh air in their thought life.
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
A post graduate course in Dilbert 30 Oct. 2002
By J D HARDY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
About fifteen years ago I took a copy of this book to work with me for a lunchtime read.
I still keep it here and I'm still absorbing it.
Hoffer profoundly illuminates the failings, foibles, and foolishness of human affairs, sometimes with dark wit and sometimes with pyrotechnics.
In it I always find aphorisms to describe any "workplace situation", and I use them liberally in letters, presentations, discussions and even responses to graffiti. Hoffer's insights have turned around many a situation for me.
The book gave me tremendous personal growth and a career boost as well.
Whether you're an evil HR director, or like myself just a workingman trying to navigate the waters of mid-life, this book will help you.
old jim hardy
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A Timeless Classic... 31 May 2004
By TFR - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"The Passionate State of Mind" was written by Eric Hoffer, a one-time Longshoreman, in 1954, fifty years ago, following the "True Believer" which gained much national recognition.
My suggestion to anyone interested would be to take "The Passionate State of Mind" to a park, a place on the the seashore, take some time, read, relax, and reflect on the meaning of the 280 aphorisms contained within.
One such paragraph reads: " An easygoing person is probably more accessible to the realization of eternity - the endless flow of life and death - than one who takes his prospects and duties overseriously. It is the overserious who are truly frivilous."
Or another is, simply: "Fear and Freedom are mutually exclusive."
I have no argument with either sentiment.
Anyway, my copy of "The Passionate State of Mind" is well-worn, and I'm always surprised that even though I may put it away, when I eventually get around to revisiting it, I always manage to find food for thought.
"The Passionate State of Mind" is something that recalls youthful ideals, and the ultimate objective of truth. It's worth a read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A man who hears the sound of his own drummer An American Classic 1 May 2009
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The aphorist Rifkah Goldberg once said 'All Aphorisms are Generalizations'. This group of two- hundred aphorisms or aphoristic paragraphs proves her point. Hoffer analyzes the human situation and psyche with boldly stated general reflections.
A few examples which I found especially telling.

" The best stimulus for running ahead is to have something we must run from"

"We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents."

"A social order is stable so long as it can give scope to talent and youth. Yout itself is a talent- a perishable talent."

"We cannot dream passionately of the future without making a counterfeit of the present. The craving for things that are not induces us to see the world as it is not."

"The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
It is not love of self but hatred of self which is at the root of the troubles that afflict our world."

Ideally this kind of work has to be read a bit at a time. Each paragraph provides an opportunity for thought, reflection, and not necessarily agreement. There is great insight but as with most generalization also much which leads us to believe further qualification necessary.
What is central however is that Hoffer is truly interesting, truly thought- provoking. And that he too has a view of the world, a set of values which inhere in his work. These values champion individual freedom, the anti- totalitarian mind and also American egalitarian democracy . Hoffer a longshoreman by trade and a self- educated Montaigne- inspired thinker truly hears the sound of his own drummer, and provides a genuinely individual way of seeing the world.
An American classic.
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