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Occult America Hardcover – January, 1972

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (January 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385036620
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385036627
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,136,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Jones on June 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Occult America" is an engagingly written survey of 1970s occulture. It's a well-researched book that covers all the bases as far as the occult goes, with chapters chronicling astrology, prophets, witchcraft, Scientology, Edgar Cayce, Eckankar, psychics, UFO culture, the myths of Atlantis and Lemuria, mediums, gurus and assorted messiahs, Satanism, parapsychological research, and the occult product market. I especially liked the chapters on Scientology, Eckankar, and UFO movements; the Scientology chapter was especially eye-opening, as Godwin goes into some of the more disturbing practices of the Church in its earlier years. It was also rather amusing to be reading this book in 2009, 37 years after it was first published. Several of the "prophecies" predicted by psychics Godwin interviewed turned out to be patently false. One famous prophetess that Godwin interviews in the book maintained that the Second Coming of Christ would occur in 2000, and yet it still hasn't happened. Throughout the book Godwin maintains his rationalist and skeptic air, and I found this to be very refreshing. This isn't a book written by an occultnik kook.

However, I do have a few reservations about this book. It mystifies me why Godwin didn't include a bibliography. I would have liked a good, thick bibliography at the end, with all his research annotated so I could do further investigation into some of the topics he covered. He conducted many interviews for the book, as a journalist should, but I'm sure he used other written material to supplement the first-hand accounts he received from the people he interviewed. I just wish I knew what that material was.

I also have problems with the chapters on witchcraft and Satanism.
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