Author(s): Eric Hoffer
Eric Hoffer was a stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s who wrote philosophical treatises in his spare time while living in the railroad yards. The True Believer was the first and most famous of his books, made into a bestseller when then President Eisenhower cited it during one of the earliest television press conferences. Hoffer appeared on Public Television in 1964 and then in two one-hour conversations on CBS with Eric Severeid, which propelled him into the role of public philosopher in the mode of Joseph Campbell. Hoffer had no formal education; he chose the life of the manual laborer. This small manual on the nature of fanaticism was seen as a parallel to Machiavelli?s The Prince.