Thoughts On The Nature Of Mass Movements. A longshoreman on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s, Eric Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while living in the railroad yards. "The True Believer" -- the first and most famous of his books -- was made into a bestseller when President Eisenhower cited it during one of the earliest television press conferences. The book was not only relevant to the times when it was first published (looking at the rise of Naziism and Communism), but it remains completely relevant and essential for understanding our own world today. "The True Believer" is a visionary, highly provocative look into the mind of the fanatic and a penetrating study of how an individual becomes one.
"Freedom aggravates as much as it alleviates frustration. Freedom of choice places the whole blame of failure on the shoulders of the individual. And as freedom encourages a multiplicity of attempts, it unavoidably muliplies failure and frustration...Unless a man has talents to make something of himself, freedom is an irksome burden...We join mass movements to escape individual responsibility...." a quote from the book
Eric Hoffer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1983.