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Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics Paperback – August 10, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As Pasi shows, the occultist, magician and writer was a gadfly, an ironist, an ambitious radical and always a controversialist in his flirtation with the main currents of 20th-century thought… Pasi’s book proves an admirable introduction to the complex magical and political connections of this most elusive of figures." - Times Higher Education

"A pioneering study of Crowley’s relationship to politics. Marco Pasi’s brilliant analysis of events, facts and ideas refutes many of the preconceived notions of the relationship between occultism and politics. This is a groundbreaking book not only for the study of Crowley, but also for 20th century occultism." - Henrik Bogdan, author of Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, and co-editor of Aleister Crowley and Western Esotericism

"In this sweeping survey, Marco Pasi deftly reconstructs the political tapestries of Britain, Germany, Italy, France, the United States and Soviet Union, providing valuable context for the settings which influenced Crowely’s political thought, and against which that thought played out. Putting tired and inaccurate tropes about its subject to bed while opening doors to fresh areas of inquiry, this book should be on the shelf of anyone with an interest in Crowley or in the intersection of political and esoteric thought in the Twentieth Century." - Richard Kaczynski, author of Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis and Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley

"This must be the most anticipated of all esotericism-related publications that have appeared in 2013." - Heterodoxology blog

About the Author

Marco Pasi is Assistant Professor of History of Hermetic Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 10, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844656969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844656967
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,619,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Finally read Aleister Crowley and the Temptation of Politics by Marco Pasi. I am especially happy to see a true scholar directly take on the role of politics in the life and thought of the Magus of the Aeon. It is a brilliant book, which is most notable, in my opinion, for the fact that it acknowledges Crowley's ambiguities. Pasi is sophisticated enough to not see consistency in Crowley's political views and smart enough to stop looking for it. Crowley was both a man of the left and right, liberal and conservative, modernist and reactionary, both a fierce patriot and one revolted by the degeneracy of his beloved nation. I particularly like the author's characterization of AC as a conservative revolutionary. Sounds familiar.

Like many geniuses, including Thomas Jefferson, Crowley's politics cannot be pigeon-holed in some convenient category created of opinions to one's liking.

I must mention that I had the expensive hardcover of this book on order the moment it was announced in 2013 (or earlier?). When I learned the paperback was available, I still gallantly awaited the hardcover. I finally surrendered and ordered the paperback. Opening its pages to the undersized typography and narrow margins--hallmarks of both bad book design and poor economic choices by publishers--I had to wait to read it till I got the prescription renewed for my eyeglasses. Glad I didn't spend the $90 for the hardcover.

With that sole caveat, this book is infinitely worth reading. In fact, I cannot recommend it highly enough. I learned much here and especially appreciate the author's fastidious lack of speculation on questions to which he does not know the answer. Ariel Godwin's English translation is excellent.
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