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The Haunting of America: From the Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini

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Overview

In the tradition of their Haunting of the Presidents, national bestselling authors Joel Martin and William J. Birnes write The Haunting of America: From The Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini, the only book to tell the story of how paranormal events influenced and sometimes even drove political events. In a narrative retelling of American history that begins with the Salem Witch Trials of the seventeenth century, Martin and Birnes unearth the roots of America's fascination with the ghosts, goblins, and demons ...

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The Haunting of America: From the Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini

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Overview

In the tradition of their Haunting of the Presidents, national bestselling authors Joel Martin and William J. Birnes write The Haunting of America: From The Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini, the only book to tell the story of how paranormal events influenced and sometimes even drove political events. In a narrative retelling of American history that begins with the Salem Witch Trials of the seventeenth century, Martin and Birnes unearth the roots of America's fascination with the ghosts, goblins, and demons that possess our imaginations and nightmares. The authors examine the political history of the United States through the lens of the paranormal and investigate the spiritual events that inspired public policy: channelers and meduims who have advised presidents, UFOs that frightened the nation's military into launching nuclear bomber squadrons toward the Soviet Union, out-of-body experiencers deployed to gather sensitive intelligence on other countries, and even spirits summoned to communicate with living politicians.

The Haunting of America is a thrilling exploration of the often unexpected influences of the paranormal on science, medicine, law, government, the military, psychology, theology, death and dying, spirituality, and pop culture.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Following The Haunting of the Presidents, Birnes (The Day After Roswell), star of the History Channel's UFO Hunters, and Martin present this new title, which the jacket copy proclaims to be "the only book to tell the story of how paranormal events influenced the United States." It certainly is not, though it might be the first one with a 50-page introduction discussing such topics as Sumerian astronomy, Egyptian pyramids, and magic and divination in the Bible. The authors begin the U.S. section with an overly simplistic analysis of the Salem witch trials, stating that they're rooted in Calvinism (why similar trials occurred in Europe among other Protestant sects and Catholics is never addressed); they then proceed to discuss Spiritualism, psychic research, and paranormal events. The authors use primary sources at times, as well as secondary sources, encyclopedias, and less-reputable texts (e.g., Zechariah Sitchin, who believes humanity was founded by aliens). In some cases, they gloss over historical difficulties with their source material yet criticize other scholars for bias. VERDICT Excellent books—e.g., Mitch Horowitz's Occult America and Herbert Leventhal'sscholarly In the Shadow of the Enlightenment—are better purchases.—Dan Harms, SUNY Cortland Memorial Lib.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765326188
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 649,903
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Meet the Author

JOEL MARTIN is nationally recognized as a paranormal expert and bestselling author. Since the early 1970s, Joel has been a rado talk show host. As a TV talk show host, he won the Cable Ace Award. As an investigative reporter about the paranormal & psychic phenomena, he discovered internationally renowned medium, George Anderson, and exposed The Amityville Horror as a hoax. Joel is also a network TV consultant about the paranormal and has made many TV appearances.

WILLIAM J. BIRNES is The New York Times bestselling co-author of The Day After Roswell. He is the star and consulting producer of the History Channel's UFO Hunters.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting History Of Spiritualism

    The title of this one can easily throw off a potential reader, which is a little irritating. There is nothing about hauntings in this book, as the title implies. Instead, the authors follow the history of spiritualism - psychics, mediums, etc. - throughout American history. We learn about the popular spiritualists of the day, their seances, etc. We also learn about a few popular politicians, such as Abraham Lincoln, who used mediums to help them make decisions.

    The writing was easy to follow, though, for me, a little too rambling at times. The one huge problem I have with it is that the authors never once so much as mentioned Edgar Cayce. I don't know how anyone can write a book that supposedly encompasses spiritualism, yet not once bring up Edgar Cayce's name.

    However, I did enjoy the chapter on women's role in spiritualism and its importance for the women's movement. The authors offered a unique perspective I have not seen in any other books.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    Waiting

    Im tired of waiting for house of hades to come out so i put comment on every e book on my nook.COME OUT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 8 Customer Reviews

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