The Revolt of the Masses Paperback – 11 May 1994
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From the Back Cover
Social upheaval in early twentieth-century Europe is the historical setting for this seminal study by the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset of the 'mass man'-the phenomenon of mass culture that more than any other factor stamps the character of modern life.
About the Author
JosE Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) was a philosopher and for many years held the chair of metaphysics at the University of Madrid. His other books include The Revolt of the Masses, Man and People, Meditations on Quixote, and What is Philosophy?
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Top Customer Reviews
What is the subject of this book?. Well, the subject is the advent to power in Europe of what he calls the mass-men, who, according to him, are characterized by being just like everybody else. The mass-men have always existed, but whereas in the past they allowed the men of excellence to direct society, now they claim all the power. Ortega y Gasset says that what is new is that "the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will". Thus, the mass-men claim that everything that is different needs to be crushed: uniformity is good, all else should be suppressed.
But are the mass-men capable of leading society?. According to the author, they are not. He displays an enormous amount of elitism when he affirms that the culture of the mass-man isn't true culture, because there isn't culture where there are no standards to which anybody can make an appeal. He gives an example of the modern mass-man when he points out what was happening then under Fascism, due to the fact that "there appears for the first time in Europe a type of man who does not want to give reasons or to be right, but simply shows himself resolved to impose his opinions".
Ortega says that the way the mass-man behaves in public life arises from his psychological structure. Each mass-man considers "his moral and intellectual endowment as excellent, complete".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've never written a review (on amazon) before, but Ortega is such a neglected genius that I was moved to. Read morePublished 4 months ago by HUGH ROBERTS
Brilliantly and unashamedly elitist. Y Gasset defines the dichotomy between the mass-man & the man of culture but within the context of the modern world. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Colm Gillis
There are very few occasions in my reading life when I come across a highly acclaimed book that I think is such a stinker I struggle to understand how anybody could have ever... Read morePublished on 28 July 2009 by Darran