Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to Ameri ca

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9780805210248: Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to Ameri ca

Just before the turn of the century, a renegade Russian aristocrat named Madame Blavatsky came to America claiming that man was descended not from the ape but from spiritual beings. Thus began Theosophy, the very first "new age" religion. This thought-provoking and often hilarious study delineates the course of Theosophy and other sects which have come down through the years. Photos.

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From Booklist:

Washington, author and critic for several prestigious British papers, characterizes nineteenth-century America as the land of "spiritual opportunity." Science was challenging the authority of the church while historians were demystifying the Bible and knowledge of non-Christian religions became more widespread. As life became more bewildering, the search for truth and easy answers became more overt and impassioned, and the feats and promises of spiritualists attracted a great deal of attention. But messages from the dead weren't enough, and soon various charismatic individuals created new religions: Mary Baker Eddy and Christian Science, Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church, and Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society. Washington analyzes the rise of nontraditional religions with unfailing acuity, but he also has a great avidity for eccentrics, scoundrels, autocrats, and true believers. This blend of careful analysis and gleeful wit enlivens his anecdote-filled history as it moves on to vividly portray the second generation of self-appointed gurus, including Charles Webster Leadbeater, Krishnamurti, and Gurdjieff. The title? It refers to a stuffed baboon belonging to Blavatsky; it was dressed like a gentleman and held a copy of The Origin of the Species. Donna Seaman

From Publishers Weekly:

Around the turn of the century, renegade Russian aristocrat Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky declared herself the chosen vessel of the wisdom of the East through her reputed contact with a dematerializing Tibetan master, who unveiled a Hidden Brotherhood located in the Himalayas and Egypt. The Theosophical Society, which she cofounded in 1875 in New York City with Civil War veteran Col. Henry Olcott, attracted a wide following with its amalgam of Hinduism, Buddhism and occultism. In this enormously entertaining, witheringly skeptical, highly colorful chronicle, British journalist Washington deflates the self-mythologizing and woolly philosophizing of theosophists and rival schools and gurus, including flamboyant Armenian-Greek mystic George Gurdjieff, Austrian philosopher/holistic healer Rudolf Steiner and Jiddu Krishnamurti, Indian ex-theosophist turned California sage. Those who came under their influence include Aldous Huxley, Katherine Mansfield, Christopher Isherwood, W.B. Yeats and Frank Lloyd Wright, making this a heady intellectual adventure as well as a clear-sighted saga of human foibles, charlatanry, bizarre antics and genuine spiritual hunger extending to New Age cults from the 1950s to the present. Photos.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Peter Washington
Editorial: Schocken (1996)
ISBN 10: 0805210245 ISBN 13: 9780805210248
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Descripción Schocken, 1996. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 1st Paperback Ed. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0805210245

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Peter Washington
Editorial: Schocken (1996)
ISBN 10: 0805210245 ISBN 13: 9780805210248
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Descripción Schocken, 1996. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0805210245

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Washington, Peter
Editorial: Schocken (1996)
ISBN 10: 0805210245 ISBN 13: 9780805210248
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