Extended Audio Sample

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

Extended Audio Sample Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation Audiobook, 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: August 2009 ISBN: 9781455195626
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

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.

Download and start listening now!

BK_BLAK_003414

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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tyrell Warner | 1/10/2014

    " While it is true that paganism informed our culture, to call it occult is perhaps an attempt by conservative christians to cast a negative linguistic style on particularly greco-roman and mithraist influence. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 1/5/2014

    " Very thorough description of the beginnings of the ocult in America. Detailed historical recap of the beginnings of this in our country. Not quite what I expected from the description but well reserached and written "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 7/28/2013

    " A good general review of American occultists. Good research. Interesting facts. The title is a bit misleading since the study centers on on American Occultism but on American occultists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 3/5/2013

    " Shows how American do it your self mysticism has influenced everything from different kinds of Christianity like 7th Day Adventists, all the way to self help & positive thinking. The book makes occult thinking seem rather harmless, if still kind of odd. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaylana | 1/2/2013

    " A good introduction to the mystical movement and other religious movements of the U.S. I felt it was a bit dry and some of his chapters went all over the place and then eventually settled on what he was talking about originally...kind of confusing. Overall, a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 10/15/2012

    " I was not impressed with this book. I had a tough time even getting through it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesse | 10/3/2012

    " An interesting survey of some prominent new religion figures in American history. Reads a bit like a master's thesis. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cody | 8/16/2012

    " Great book, Im amazed because I did not know so many famous people were into the supernaturnal. I liked this book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leftjab | 1/24/2012

    " Uneven and strangely arranged, but fascinating at parts. Me being the "visual learner" I am, I could have used some pictures of these crackpots & mystics, though I guess I can do some google searches to satisfy that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Autumn | 5/21/2011

    " An interesting book, but not in-depth enough for me. I'm using it a starting place and will try and read further on the movements and individuals discussed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tonya | 3/29/2011

    " I'm glad I listened to this rather than reading but I still don't remember much. A few highlights stick out but most of the book was filler information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steven | 2/14/2011

    " Shows how American do it your self mysticism has influenced everything from different kinds of Christianity like 7th Day Adventists, all the way to self help & positive thinking. The book makes occult thinking seem rather harmless, if still kind of odd. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 11/27/2010

    " im gonna say Ive read this because I cant get through this its like listening to a extremely boring lecture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhyk | 11/4/2010

    " A fascinating real history of the a movement and a phenomenon that has morphed and evolved since the 1850's. Journalistic in its approach. Not pro-mystic propaganda at all. Very interesting insights into American culture in general. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joe | 7/16/2010

    " Looking for more info on Freemasonry in America - this was not the book. Disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 6/27/2010

    " A fascinating and informative book about all kinds of cults and denominations from spiritualism to "New Thought" to Mormonism etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ron | 5/11/2010

    " Decent in providing broad overview, not so many details. Put the birth of Latter Day Saints, Scientology and Christian Science in relation to what was going on at the time.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaylana | 4/7/2010

    " A good introduction to the mystical movement and other religious movements of the U.S. I felt it was a bit dry and some of his chapters went all over the place and then eventually settled on what he was talking about originally...kind of confusing. Overall, a good read. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

Mitch Horowitz is a PEN Award–winning author who has also written for Science of Mind, New Dawn, Parabola, Fortean Times, and the Religion News Service. A sought-after speaker and well-known voice for occult and esoteric ideas, he is editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael Garcia, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner and former company member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, received his classical training in theater from Southern Oregon University, where he worked as an actor, director, and designer.