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The Spiritualists Hardcover – October 12, 1983

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (October 12, 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394527402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394527406
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been a fan of this book since I stumbled across it in high school. Ms. Brandon does a fantastic job demonstrating to, not leading, the reader through the modern history of the capial-M Medium; including the Mute Knockers, Channelers, Visioneers, and currently extinct Ectoplasmatics (all names reviewer's own) at a brisk pace, despite it's size. A large amount of this work happens to be the bibliography, with many references to both sides of the spiritualist debate (despite another reviewer's opinion). This is a great volume for anyone wanting to know more of Victorian/ Edwardian psychology, or interested in or unsure about psychic phenomena (as I was) and would like to see the forerunners of Sylvia Browne and John Edwards.
BONUS TIP: Most public libraries have at least one copy in the Spirituality section, so you can see if it's to your liking it for the low cost of just your tax dollars.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book and Ms's Brandons' other book on Houdini and found them hard to put down. The Spiritualists book had a spooky cover but by the time the book was finished I felt Ms. Brandon had covered the phony mediums pretty well. houdini enters the picture in the Spiritualists as well. I love books on myth debunkers like Houdini. I can see why Penn and Teller are so inspired by the great magician, he loved to use his wisdom to expose fraud. both of Ruth's books offer a lot of insight and she goes off into interesting tangents in her works. For instance, she says that the Jews became dominant in the entertainment industries because of their risk taking investments into the nickelodeon. At the time no one wanted to take a risk on the Nickelodeons because they were seen as immoral and unprofitable but Jewish investors showed it could show a profit. Once they dominated this aspect of the entertainment industry it gave them a big leap on the entertainment industry that they were able to maintain.Brandon's books always have some interesting sidelines and interpretations.
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Format: Paperback
I failed to notice the publisher. Prometheus has only one objective: to descredit as much as possible of everything not fitting in their close-minded perspective. So I bought the book, hoping it would give me a historical perspective on Spiritualism. Which it promises. But doesn't. At all.
Mrs Brandon has made up her mind from the beginning. Being a buddy of Martin Gardner and James Randi, that is what can be expected.
Not that the book is not entertaining. It is. Obviously Mrs Brandon is a journalist, out to make fun. She is not a historian. She is not concerned in the least with truth. From the start she only mentions everything that fits in her rubbish-frame, and all the facts, proof, everything that might, just might, point in another direction, is left out. I'm not a spiritualist, but I would be ashamed of myself if I thought that all the people who REALLY did their jobs in investigating the phenomena of early spiritualism, were just gullible idiots. There was a lot of trickery and money making and falseness, but that doesn't explain away everything. Mrs Brandon fails to mention a lot. In terms of debunking she did a wonderful job. In terms of being honest, she failed. Miserably.
If you are looking for history, don't buy this book!
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