Aleister Crowley in America: Art, Espionage, and Sex Magick in the New World Hardcover – 11 Jan 2018
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“Aleister Crowley in America focuses sharply and drills down into Crowley’s formative U.S. period, burgeoning with rich and surprising depth beyond what is possible in a life-spanning biography. This story deserves a book of its own, and Tobias Churton demonstrates here that the Beast is indeed in the details.” (Richard Kaczynski, author of Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley)
“Churton has sifted through a mass of material--from long-neglected documents to the latest researches of contemporary Crowley scholars--to put together this comprehensive and intriguing study of the years the Beast spent in America. He brings fresh eyes to old controversies, such as the true nature of Crowley’s political activities during the First World War, and presents a work that anyone interested in the history of Crowley and his circle will read with enthusiasm.” (Keith Richmond, co-owner of Weiser Antiquarian Books and author of Progradior and the Beast)
“This beautifully produced and richly documented history tracks and clarifies Crowley’s myriad experiences in America. Tobias Churton admirably sorts out fact from fantasy and shines an illuminating light on a misunderstood facet of Crowley’s career.” (Mitch Horowitz, PEN Award-winning author of Occult America)
“Way beyond the standard Crowley hagiographies, Churton’s books always put the Great Beast in cultural context. This fascinating mustread is no exception; it’s an invaluable, well-researched, and highly entertaining insight into the great magician’s life, thoughts, and scandals during his American adventures.” (Carl Abrahamsson, author of Occulture and Reasonances)
“Magician Tobias Churton has successfully cast a spell, transforming his 750-page comprehensive scholarly tome into a gripping and obsessive page turner, leaving one wishing for more. Replete with new and exciting details and interpretations of Crowley’s time in the New World--and of the multiple denizens of his exciting and unique social circles--the book includes previously unpublished manuscripts, letters, and photographs. Churton furnishes the reader with a sensitive and intimate portrait that brings Crowley to life--as if we are invited to a convivial conversation or private dinner with the Magus himself. Truly an outstanding, enjoyable, and invaluable book!” (James Wasserman, author of Templar Heresy: A Story of Gnostic Illumination)
“Crowley had a great hunger for almost everything he ever thought of or saw. He was economical with the truth, with his own money, and with his loyalties, but--and it is a big but--the scope and scale of America thrilled him. The vitality of the big cities, the newness and esoteric searching of the West Coast made him delirious with a big, greedy joy. He loved the States for nearly thirty years, as it gave him a dedicated group of very clever people, like Jack Parsons, who practiced what he preached. Tobias Churton has uncovered fresh material on Crowley in biographically fresh territory and has once again written a very fine book.” (Geraldine Beskin and Bali Beskin, owners of the Atlantis Bookshop, London)
About the Author
Britain’s leading scholar of Western Esotericism, Tobias Churton is a world authority on Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism. Appointed Honorary Fellow of Exeter University in 2005, he holds a master’s degree in Theology from Brasenose College, Oxford, and is the author of many books, including Aleister Crowley: The Beast in Berlin and Occult Paris. He lives in the heart of England.See all Product description
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That said, although parts of the book are dull, a gap in the life history of Crowley appears to have been filled. Perhaps the greatest service done to Crowley's memory here is raising of the important point that "Do What Thou Wilt " does not mean 'Do as you please'. Other authors have pointed this out as well. and it should be at the forefront of the mind when reading anything about this branch of 'occultism'. As well as trying to remember that Crowley could be a pretty poor example of humanity, (in spite of being a most amusing author) and for such a huge intelligence, rather stupid as well, some might say 'naive' ... being charitable. . We all have faults, blah blah. The Author's is excessive verbiage and giving us the runaround. By the time the potted info has been absorbed the original departure point has almost been forgotten.
Why did he not put at least some of the potted biographies into a separate section, and use footnotes to point to that section unless such detail is needed in the text of the current narrative (frequently it is not)?? That would have been so much easier to deal with.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It was eye opening. Churton’s writing was a little hard to follow at first but once I got his style the book really flowed, and I learned a lot I didn’t know about Mr. Crowley.
The book helped me understand a very complex man. A genius in hermetic magic who, at least to me, was obsessed with sex and sex magic.
That said, he didn’t come off as some ogre but rather a man with a gift trying to, reluctantly, establish a new religion.
The book is very much worth the read.
This book , like all of his his books, is a very informative, well researched and a very entertaining story.