Reflections on the Human Condition

Reflections on the Human Condition Eric Hoffer one of America s most important thinkers and the author of The True Believer lived for years as a Depression Era migratory worker Self taught his appetite for knowledge history science

  • Title: Reflections on the Human Condition
  • Author: Eric Hoffer
  • ISBN: 9781933435145
  • Page: 101
  • Format: Paperback
  • Eric Hoffer one of America s most important thinkers and the author of The True Believer lived for years as a Depression Era migratory worker Self taught, his appetite for knowledge history, science, mankind formed the basis of his insight to human nature Reflections on the Human Condition is a collection of poignant aphorisms taken from his writings.

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    About “Eric Hoffer”

    1. Eric Hoffer

      Eric Hoffer was an American social writer and philosopher He produced ten books and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in February 1983 by President of the United States Ronald Reagan His first book, The True Believer, published in 1951, was widely recognized as a classic, receiving critical acclaim from both scholars and laymen, although Hoffer believed that his book The Ordeal of Change was his finest work In 2001, the Eric Hoffer Award was established in his honor with permission granted by the Eric Hoffer Estate in 2005.Early lifeHoffer was born in the Bronx, New York City in 1902 or possibly 1898 , the son of Knut and Elsa Hoffer, immigrants from Alsace By the age of five, he could read in both German and English When he was age five, his mother fell down a flight of stairs with Eric in her arms Hoffer went blind for unknown medical reasons two years later, but later in life he said he thought it might have been due to trauma I lost my sight at the age of seven Two years before, my mother and I fell down a flight of stairs She did not recover and died in that second year after the fall.I lost my sight and for a time my memory After his mother s death he was raised by a live in relative or servant, a German woman named Martha His eyesight inexplicably returned when he was 15 Fearing he would again go blind, he seized upon the opportunity to read as much as he could for as long as he could His eyesight remained, and Hoffer never abandoned his habit of voracious reading.Hoffer was a young man when his father, a cabinetmaker, died The cabinetmaker s union paid for the funeral and gave Hoffer a little over three hundred dollars Sensing that warm Los Angeles was the best place for a poor man, Hoffer took a bus there in 1920 He spent the next 10 years on Los Angeles skid row, reading, occasionally writing, and working odd jobs On one such job, selling oranges door to door, he discovered he was a natural salesman and could easily make good money Uncomfortable with this discovery, he quit after one day.In 1931, he attempted suicide by drinking a solution of oxalic acid, but the attempt failed as he could not bring himself to swallow the poison The experience gave him a new determination to live adventurously It was then he left skid row and became a migrant worker Following the harvests along the length of California, he collected library cards for each town near the fields where he worked and, living by preference, between the books and the brothels A seminal event for Hoffer occurred in the mountains where he had gone in search of gold Snowed in for the winter, he read the Essays by Michel de Montaigne Montaigne s book impressed Hoffer deeply, and he often made reference to its importance for him He also developed a great respect for America s underclass, which, he declared, was lumpy with talent LongshoremanHoffer was in San Francisco by 1941 He attempted to enlist in the Armed forces there in 1942 but was rejected because of a hernia Wanting to contribute to the war effort, he found ample opportunity as a longshoreman on the docks of The Embarcadero It was there he felt at home and finally settled down He continued reading voraciously and soon began to write while earning a living loading and unloading ships He continued this work until he retired at age 65.Hoffer considered his best work to be The True Believer, a landmark explanation of fanaticism and mass movements The Ordeal of Change is also a literary favorite In 1970 he endowed the Lili Fabilli and Eric Hoffer Laconic Essay Prize for students, faculty, and staff at the University of California, Berkeley.Hoffer was a charismatic individual and persuasive public speaker, but said that he didn t really care about people Despite authoring 10 books and a newspaper column, in retirement Hoffer continued his robust life of the mind, thinking and writing alone, in an apartmen

    638 thoughts on “Reflections on the Human Condition”

    1. One of my favorite books from one of my favorite authors. RotHC is a collection of aphorisms and short thoughts from Hoffer organized categorically.I recommend this book to anyone with a few minutes time.One favorite of mine:"One wonders whether a generation that demands instant satisfaction of all its needs and instant solution of the world's problems will produce anything of lasting value. Such a generation, even when equipped with the most modern technology, will be essentially primitive - it [...]


    2. Some of it was incredibly outdated, some of it was right on the mark. What a weird man. I wanted to copy out sections of this book:"People who cannot grow want to leap: they want short cuts to fame, fortune, and happiness.""A plant needs roots in order to grow. With man it is the other way around: only when he grows does he have roots and feels at home in the world."


    3. This is a short little book, just 86 pages. It is a collection of 183 aphorisms collected from his other works ranging from short sentences to a couple that are a page and a half long. Hoffer, the author of the best seller The True Believer is a master of the pithy quote. This collection is divided into five categories - Between the Dragon and the Devil, Troublemakers, Creators, Prognosticators and Individuals. As always, he is an astute observer of the human condition and offers a lot of insigh [...]


    4. The True Believer made an impact on me when I was in college. I thought Hoffer really nailed the desire to join a mass movement. As I get older and realize how few individuals are truly independent thinkers, the book has grown in my estimation. When I stumbled across this book at the used bookstore, I thought it would be a great, short read - a collection of Hoffer aphorisms about human nature. Alas, it was disappointing. There were some interesting observations but none were all that insightful [...]


    5. This book is little more than a collection of Hoffer's sayings and general opinions which, removed from their supporting material, lose much of their impact. Though Hoffer wrote with a lot of density, condensing powerful ideas into small doses, these passages are more designed to inspire curiosity about Hoffer than to satisfy it. For people who want an introduction to America's most prominent lay intellectual, I would refer them to The True Believer or The Ordeal of Change rather than this books [...]


    6. Interesting ObservationsHoffer's work offers some interesting observations about the human condition. Many of his observations are spot on, others I had to think about before realizing that they are also correct. Hoffer spend many years observing the human race and brings forth his observations in this excellent work


    7. Men, technology and society, no one nails it better than Hoffer on the relationship amongst the three. Those who says this book is outdated should come back to it in ten years of time, or understand the state of the technological society now. Hoffer is timeless.


    8. A wonderful book. Was about to throw it in the recycle bin (I work at a book store and the copy was just a bit too beat up to sell), and the title caught my eye. I looked it over, figured it seemed like something right up my alley, and took it home. A great bit of dumb luck on my part!


    9. A collection of aphorisms, some of which I found so profound that I found myself giggling with excitement. Great fun. What a find!




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