Tuesday, September 25

"God didn’t build this system. I don’t remember him at any of the bloody project meetings."

"No one would willingly enter into such a mob, but crowds of the unwilling are compacted by the progression of the masses behind them."

"You have to understand the limits to mathematical models. You can’t really reduce an individual’s mindset to an algorithm.”

What really happened in Mina three years and a day ago? The answer includes a close look at the way Saudi leaders think, a look at the science of crowd control, and an explanation of exactly how crowds can kill.

Riveting, unforgettable journalism makes the subject material bearable to read and transforms it into a kind of morality tale for our times.

William Langewiesche's The 10-Minute Mecca Stampede That Made History, published in February by Vanity Fair, also introduces the reader to a Scotsman both reasonable and intellectually brilliant, who for years wrestled with the hopeless task of getting Saudi officials to be sensible about crowd control systems at the Hajj.


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