"The mystery of our time is the inability of decent people to get angry." Eric Hoffer

1902-83 American Laborer, philosopher. Known as "the longshoreman philosopher"

When he was only 7 years old, his eyes failed completely. When he reached 15, his eyesight returned. Fearing it might fail again, he decided to read as many books as he could. His eyes worked fine from that point forward. But he kept up his omnivorous reading program. Similar to Einstein's early failure to learn language, this turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him.

He was completely self-educated, spending his life in the blue collar job of longshoreman. He would spend his day unloading 500 pound kegs of nails and then go home at night and study the great philosophers of the day. His most famous book The True Believer 1951, a study of fanaticism and mass movements, won him recognition for the pungent, aphoristic style and perceptivity. Hoffer retired from the docks in 1967 but continued to be widely celebrated.

He won the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Books he wrote include:

Related Nodes:


Sources: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/report/news/january26/hoffer-126.html Hoffer, Eric, "The True Believer", Harper and Row, NY, 1951 http://www.erichoffer.net Last Updated 05.06.04

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