"When he published his first book, in 1951, Eric Hoffer has been a longshoreman for eight years and had toliled another twenty years before that as a migratory worker. The book, an abstract and lucid analysis of mass movements called The True Believer, was a critical success and is now considered a classic…
Hoffer always carried a notebook with him. There are 131 of them in the archives, still creased from being carried about in his capacious pockets. Many people carry notebooks but Hoffer’s are unusual. He was more disciplined than some imagine. He once said his writing was done "in railroad yards while waiting for a freight, in the fields while waiting for a truck," conjuring up Jack Kerouac more than Eric Hoffer – two very different writers. His entries, in his workingman’s hand, are polished, with few erasures or corrections, even when written on a park bench. His thoughts are always original, and one reads them with an abiding sense that some new revelation may be at hand."
Eric Hoffer and the art of the notebook
HARPERS’ Magazine/July 2005