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The Angel and Sorcerer: The Remarkable Story of the Occult Origins of Mormonism and the Rise of Mormons in American Politics by [Levenda, Peter]
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The Angel and Sorcerer: The Remarkable Story of the Occult Origins of Mormonism and the Rise of Mormons in American Politics Kindle Edition

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Length: 194 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Peter Levenda has appeared numerous times in documentaries for The History Channel, The Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2676 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0892542004
  • Publisher: Ibis Press (1 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00906LVL2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #890,919 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Levenda has written an easily digestible synopsis of material taken (and credited) from more scholarly, nuanced and authoritative sources. As a long time student of Mormonism, I found very little new here if anything. But, the first part of the book would make a decent intro to Mormonism for a novice. However, in the second part of the book Levenda (despite his pleadings to the opposite) reveals a very strong anti-Mormon and pro-left wing bias. It is beyond rich for him to accuse Mormons and the Right of paranoid conspiracy weaving when he has made career of just that. Lavenda works the kooky-crackpot side of the left wing conspiracy street where there are Nazis under every bed. Plus, he caters to the kooks who buy into the most outlandish flying saucer conspiracy theories. I suspect Levenda believes very little of the flying saucer flapdoodle but he definitely pushes a loony-lefty agenda. If you are genuinely interested in the connection between Mormonism and the Occult read the books Levenda references.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
60 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piety's Rainbow 19 Aug. 2012
By Review Guy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peter Levenda's favorite trick is to take some familiar page from American history and show us that we've failed to understand it. The author notes that, for most people, for most of history, magic was an unquestioned aspect of daily existence. He argues that in order to conjure the full richness of the past to visible appearance, we must take magic seriously as a motivating force and an explanatory principle - of human action if nothing else.

When Levenda calls Joseph Smith a "sorcerer", it isn't meant as a pejorative label. Rather, he's offering Smith some overdue professional recognition. Joseph Smith was as powerful, and as successful, a ritual magician as the United States has ever produced. Levenda shows how the young man's exceptional prowess took him from poverty to the head of a major religious movement with political power and the largest paramilitary force in the US.

Levenda situates Smith quite comfortably within the Western esoteric tradition, and demonstrates that he was, at every phase of his life, a practicing magician. This turns out to explain a great deal about Mormonism, including: its connection with Freemasonry, "sealed" marriages, the Solomonic symbolism of the golden tablets, and prophecy. And when it comes to the Mormon faith, the author has no particular axe to grind. Although he's a liberal from New York City, and probably not a Romney voter, but he places Mormonism on a equal footing with mainstream Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The revelation of Joseph Smith's magical practice may upset some readers, but it seems if anything to have endeared him to Peter Levenda. As history, the Book of Mormon comes up awkwardly short, especially in the face of recent DNA science. But when considered as the fruit of a magical working it undeniably a magnum opus. Still, this story is ultimately a tragedy in the Faustian mold, as Levenda argues that it was Smith's negligence in a magical operation that proved his undoing. Such is the trajectory of "Piety's rainbow."

I couldn't put it down. But, as with all of this author's work, it's not for everybody. I've been recommending Peter Levenda's books to people for years now, and I always get one of two reactions. Either the reader loves them, or he stops returning my calls.

Good riddance.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! 22 Nov. 2012
By H.P. Albarelli Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many folks in the U.S., I became quite interested in reading more about Mormonism after Mitt Romney's ill-fated race for high office. I had grown up in Vermont and was familiar with all the stories about Joseph Smith and his alleged discovery of gold tablets, and how Smith was soon chased out of New York... Peter Levenda's book presents the real and fascinating account of Smith's trials and tribulations, and how his Church of the Later Day Saints became entrenched in American soil. Leveda's book is an utterly fascinating and intriguing read.I highly recommend it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Information 1 Feb. 2013
By mary ann gillispie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have studied Mormonism for years and found new information from old records in this volume, that was not in previous books. I appreciate the amount of research involved in compiling this book...well written.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Historically interesting 1 Jan. 2013
By whozethere - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a Mormon, I found it interesting to see how historical events were seen outside the Church's official view. Most of the historical information, I remember from Seminary class.

This book does explain several events that also have happened in my lifetime within the church community. It does serve to explain leverage buy outs & various member connections.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars informative 2 Aug. 2013
By Yelena Shekhtman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Levenda's books are always informative, scholarly, and a pure pleasure to read. His ideas are, as usual, provocative, serious, and timely. The author has an inquisitive mind with a wide range of interests, and it's certainly worth reading anything penned by Peter Levenda--whether he analyzes secret societies, conducts Tantric research, contemplates "secret" philosophies/mysteries, dissects an occult nature of Nazism and of other similarly "sinister forces," etc. So why not Mormonism? I had a great time reading the book. Any text by Levenda is another step on the "stairway to haven," another architectural detail to the "secret temple" meant to facilitate internal transformation and enhance, sharpen the reader's perception of both human and divine natures of cosmos. On my way to read his new book!
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