Free Lecture: Occult New York

If you’re intrigued by Alexander Zaitchik’s review of Occult America, and you’re in range of Brooklyn, be sure not to miss the next edition of James Hook’s Open City Dialogue lecture series, featuring Occult America author Mitch Horowitz:

Or, How I used my Bar Mitzvah money to buy a Ouija Board….
with Mitch Horowitz

Monday, February 8, 2010, 7:30pm
Pete’s Candy Store (709 Lorimer St., Brooklyn, NY 11211)

Long before the “Aquarian Age” hit California, America’s laboratories of spiritual experiment were in the tenements of Hell’s Kitchen, the “Burned-Over District” of central New York State, and the ghostly hills of the Hudson River Valley. Mitch Horowitz, author of the acclaimed new history Occult America, will explore his encounters with New York’s astonishing – and frequently overlooked – role in spreading esoteric spirituality throughout America and the modern world. We’ll meet occult New Yorkers ranging from Edgar Allan Poe and Madame H.P. Blavatsky to lesser known but hugely influential personas such as the 19th century “Poughkeepsie seer” Andrew Jackson Davis and the colonial-era medium called the “Publick Universal Friend.” (And along the way discover why a nice Jewish kid from Queens came to embrace “the other side.”)

MITCH HOROWITZ is the editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin and the author of Occult America: The Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation (Bantam), called “a fascinating book” by Ken Burns and “extraordinary” by Deepak Chopra.  Horowitz has written for U.S. News and World Report, Parabola, and BoingBoing, and has recently appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, Dateline NBC, and All Things Considered. He and his wife raise two boys (who believe in ghosts) in New York City.

Open City Dialogue (OCD) is a bi-monthly lecture series curated by Greenpoint resident James Hook, and unraveling on alternating Mondays in the backroom of Pete’s.  Short (35-40 minute) lectures are woven together from the common thread of people’s obsessions, with guests coming from all over Greater New York.  Whether academic or crackpot; celebrated or unsung, our lecturers all have something to tell you…..