Occult America: the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation

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It touched lives as disparate as those of Frederick Douglass, Franklin Roosevelt, and Mary Todd Lincoln—who once convinced her husband, Abe, to host a séance in the White House. Americans all, they were among the famous figures whose paths intertwined with the mystical and esoteric movement broadly known as the occult. Brought over from the Old World and spread throughout the New by some of the most obscure but gifted men and women of early U.S. history, this “hidden wisdom” transformed the spiritual life of the still-young nation and, through it, much of the Western world.Yet the story of the American occult has remained largely untold. Now a leading writer on the subject of alternative spirituality brings it out of the shadows. Here is a rich, fascinating, and colorful history of a religious revolution and an epic of offbeat history.From the meaning of the symbols on the one-dollar bill to the origins of the Ouija board, Occult America briskly sweeps from the nation’s earliest days to the birth of the New Age era and traces many people and episodes, including:•The spirit medium who became America’s first female religious leader in 1776 •The supernatural passions that marked the career of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith •The rural Sunday-school teacher whose clairvoyant visions instigated the dawn of the New Age •The prominence of mind-power mysticism in the black-nationalist politics of Marcus Garvey•The Idaho druggist whose mail-order mystical religion ranked as the eighth-largest faith in the world during the Great Depression Here, too, are America’s homegrown religious movements, from transcendentalism to spiritualism to Christian Science to the positive-thinking philosophy that continues to exert such a powerful pull on the public today. A feast for believers in alternative spirituality, an eye-opener for anyone curious about the unknown byroads of American history, Occult America is an engaging, long-overdue portrait of one nation, under many gods, whose revolutionary influence is still being felt in every corner of the globe.
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Grouped Work ID 1726149d-f6ee-abba-3272-96d71cb058a6
full_title occult america the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation
author horowitz mitch
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-24 04:53:00AM

Solr Details

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author Mitch Horowitz
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author_display Horowitz, Mitch
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display_description From the meaning of the symbols on the one-dollar bill to the origins of the Ouija board,"Occult America" briskly sweeps from the nation's earliest days of mystical and esoteric movements to the birth of the New Age era, tracing the many people and episodes that continue to exert such a powerful pull on the public today.
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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (10hr., 43 min.)) : digital., 290 p. ; 22 cm.
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publishDate 2009
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subject_facet Occultism -- United States -- History, Parapsychology -- United States -- History
table_of_contents Introduction: What is the occult? (and what is it doing in America?) -- The psychic highway -- Mystic Americans -- Don't try this at home : Ouija and the selling of spiritualism -- The science of right thinking -- The mail-order prophet -- Go tell pharaoh : the rise of magic in Afro-America -- The return of the "secret teachings" -- New deal of the ages : politics and the occult -- The masters among us -- Secrets for sale -- "The greatest mystic who ever lived in America" -- Epilogue: Aquarius rising : the new age dawns.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Occult America : the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation
title_alt How mysticism shaped our nation.
title_display Occult America : the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation
title_full Occult America : the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation / Mitch Horowitz, Occult America The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation, Occult America [electronic resource] : the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation / Mitch Horowitz
title_short Occult America :
title_sort occult america the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation
title_sub the secret history of how mysticism shaped our nation
topic Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality
topic_facet Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality