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Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen Paperback


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Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen + A Dark Muse: A History of the Occult + A Secret History of Consciousness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Quest Books; 1st Quest Ed edition (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0835608573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0835608572
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gary Lachman (1955- ) was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, but has lived in London, England since 1996. A founding member of the rock group Blondie, he is now a full time writer with more than a dozen books to his name, on topics ranging from the evolution of consciousness and the western esoteric tradition, to literature and suicide, and the history of popular culture. Lachman writes frequently for many journals in the US and UK, and lectures on his work in the US, UK, and Europe.His work has been translated into several languages. His website is http://garylachman.co.uk/

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mark Newbold on October 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gary Lachman has provided what will stand as a definitive guide to the Occult's real and imagined political agendas and alleged mechanizations. From the attempted geopolitical Rosicrucian inspired government of Frederick V of the Palatinate, an event first documented in depth by Dame Frances Yates in her "The Rosicrucian Enlightenment", to the various esoteric agendas borne out by parties in the French Revolution, to a brief bias free history of Freemasonry and dispelling much of the nonsense and rubbish that has been written about Adam Weishaupt & the Illuminati. All against a historical background of how these various esoteric agendas influenced not only politics but its impact on societies as well. This is social history at its most thought provoking.

Like all of Lachman's works, this is both scholarly and approachable with a style and pace equal to any political thriller on the market today. Rich in detail with a calvacade of portraits of individuals who made their mark in the western esoteric tradition. Lachman clearly pays homage to researchers that have gone before in exploring similar terrain, including Christopher McIntosh and the late James Webb.

I must also recognize Quest Books, the publishing wing of the Theosophical Society in America. For too long they published the staid and rather tame canon of Theosophical literature and its stable of writers. With this work and Mr. Lachman's previous Quest book, "In Search of P.D. Ouspensky", as well as other recent titles, Quest has rescued itself from the oblivion of mundane metaphysical comfortability.

This work concludes with a concise and brilliant overview of Geunonian inspired Traditionalism, leading one to conclude with Sinclair Lewis, "When Fascism comes...
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By New Age of Barbarism on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
_Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen_, published in 2008 by Quest Books, by occult researcher and former performer with the rock group Blondie, Gary Lachman, is a fascinating account of the role of the occult in political movements from the reformation till the modern day. Lachman who is heavily indebted to the work of James Webb (who coined the term "illuminated politics") argues that occult politics need not be fundamentally "fascist", a charge frequently leveled against it, but has actually been involved in various movements of both the left and the right. Lachman considers the primary role of Tradition in occult politics and the opposition of much of it to the modern world. Relying heavily on Webb's book _The Occult Establishment_, Lachman traces out the role of various occultists and their political interests through history as well as their involvement in various revolutions including the American, French, and Russian, and their involvement in Fascism and Nazism. This book offers a fascinating examination of the role that occultists have played in politics and uncovers much hidden material relating to the darker sides of the human condition in the modern world.

This book begins with an Introduction entitled "Hidden Superiors and the Retreat from the Modern World". Here, Lachman considers the role of "illuminated politics" as it relates to the modern world. Lachman considers the arguments of Umberto Eco, author of _Foucault's Pendulum_, concerning occultism and fascism, as well as the occultist opposition to modernity and the longing for Tradition. Lachman explains the "cosmic state" as well as the movement of occult politics from progressive to reactionary.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca L. Elson on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This review originally appeared on The Magical Buffet website on 12/4/08.

I'm given many books and products to review. I'm not swimming in them, but at this point, I've had my share of emails from publicists and delightful packages of goodies sent my way. Yet nothing could prepare me for the email I received from Quest Books asking me to review "Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen" by Gary Lachman. That's right music fans, Gary Lachman, also known as Gary Valentine, bassist for the to die for band Blondie. What was this emotion I was experiencing? Could it be giddiness? Yes, I'm embarrassed to say, I was "as happy as a school girl".

It took awhile to get into the book. Not because it wasn't engaging, but because I kept sitting there thinking to myself, I'm one person removed from Gary Valentine! How cool am I? Once I finally pushed past the girlish giggles and congratulatory pats on my back, I came to a startling and delightful realization. Lachman has got game. (For the record, I have very little game, just enough to recognize the fact that Lachman has it.) "Politics and the Occult" isn't pop culture fluff, and it's not a rehashing of the ever popular Hitler and the occult genre, it's a fascinating, thoroughly researched, and entertainingly presented look at the subtle influence that occult movements have on societies.

In fact, Lachman himself says in the introduction, "So as not to disappoint a reader who is expecting a different sort of book, I should point out what this book isn't about, a practice most publishers frown on, but which I feel may be appropriate here. It isn't, for example, an expose of secret societies whose occult machinations are behind the political movements of today.
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