Want to know more about the ‘occult history’ of the United States? Next month will see the release of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation (preorder from Amazon US and UK), by one of our very good friends, >Mitch Horowitz:
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.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a read of an advance copy of the book, and can say its superbly researched and written. Not only does it reveal a lot of hidden history about America’s romance with mysticism, I think it also gives some good insights into the evolution of the American psyche due to the influence of these factors.
Mitch has previously posted some fascinating blogs here on TDG in the past, as well as contributing an article on Ouija to Darklore Volume 1. He’s also currently Author of the Month over at Graham Hancock’s website – you can read an article about Occult America over there, and chat to/question Mitch directly on the Author of the Month messageboard. Already some fascinating topics being discussed there (if I find time, I’d love to take part myself), so if the topic is of interest to you I recommend joining in.