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Extended Audio Sample Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation, by Mitch Horowitz Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (321 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mitch Horowitz Narrator: Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • “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

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Greg | 2/3/2014

    " A really smart and illuminating look at the Occult. The author is a terrific writer. One of my favorite books I read this year. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Psuke | 1/29/2014

    " Interesting overview (just an overview) of some of the weirder philosophies in American history, and the ways they intersected politics and social movements. There are so many that it would be just about impossible to go in-depth with any of them - but if you're looking for an introduction and names for further research, you could do worse. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Korinn Hawkins | 1/18/2014

    " I thought this book was fascinating and well written! While history is not typically a genre I read metaphysics is and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about its history in the U.S. I learned a lot, had some moments of inspiration, and even gathered names of a couple individuals that I would like to read more on. These days paranormal is mainstream so it was fun to see how it grew up in our country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Brandon | 1/12/2014

    " I think this should be required reading for each graduate student in Utah. Or for anyone who thinks that the claims made by Mormon prophet Joseph Smith in regards to golden plates, conversations with God, Native American burial grounds, and personal revelation were in any way original or inspired. "

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