Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation

By Mitch Horowitz
Read by Paul Michael Garcia

10.70 Hours 08/31/2009 unabridged
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Americans have long had a fixation with the occult. Now, well-known writer and expert on the occult Mitch Horowitz presents a meticulously researched, compulsively readable history of the mystical and spiritual experience in our country. Focusing on the tremendous impact that nineteenth-century movements such as Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and transcendentalism have had on America, Horowitz explains the origins of the Ouija board, the political influence of Spiritualism on the Senate, and the source of the mysterious slogan on the back of the dollar bill. The colorful cast of characters extends from those on the margins of documented history to famous heroes like Abraham Lincoln. Occult America will appeal to history buffs, spirituality enthusiasts, and everyone who savors fascinating narrative nonfiction.

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Summary

Summary

Americans have long had a fixation with the occult. Now, well-known writer and expert on the occult Mitch Horowitz presents a meticulously researched, compulsively readable history of the mystical and spiritual experience in our country. Focusing on the tremendous impact that nineteenth-century movements such as Freemasonry, Spiritualism, and transcendentalism have had on America, Horowitz explains the origins of the Ouija board, the political influence of Spiritualism on the Senate, and the source of the mysterious slogan on the back of the dollar bill. The colorful cast of characters extends from those on the margins of documented history to famous heroes like Abraham Lincoln. Occult America will appeal to history buffs, spirituality enthusiasts, and everyone who savors fascinating narrative nonfiction.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“What a fascinating book. It happens that another equally compelling take on our complicated national narrative lies just beneath the surface of things; not the grand procession of presidents, generals, and wars but something more hidden, more mysterious, but often no less revealing.” Ken Burns, award-winning documentary filmmaker
“Horowitz teases out fascinating stories of the ‘dreamers and planners who flourished along the Psychic Highway’…In showing how the paths of these figures occasionally intersected with the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Horowitz argues that the influence of the occult extends beyond the séance room and into the mainstream of American thought.”  Washington Post Book World
“Fascinating…Occult America is a serious, wide-ranging study of all the magical, mystical, and spiritual movements that have arisen and influenced American history in often-surprising ways.”  Washington Post Book World Podcast
“Occult America treats esoteric ideas and movements with an even-handed intellectual studiousness that is too often lost in today’s raised-voice discussions about religion and belief systems.” Washington Post Express
“One of the most readable histories of American mysticism ever written…This is historical reporting that is crafted so well, it holds the reader much like a Voodoo spell.” Tucson Citizen
“Exhaustively researched and written in a very accessible style…Occult America fills a gap in the knowledge of religion for most people.”  Huntington News

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Mitch Horowitz

Mitch Horowitz is vice president and editor in chief at Tarcher/Penguin, the division of Penguin USA dedicated to metaphysical literature. He is the author of Occult America, which received the 2010 PEN Oakland/ Josephine Miles Award for literary excellence. He frequently writes about and discusses alternative spirituality in the national media, including CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, All Things Considered, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and CNN.com.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 10.70
Audience: Adult
Language: English