The New Age: History of a Movement

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Draws on an eclectic mix of eastern and western spiritual philosophies to document the New Age movement's key themes, citing such influences as Hinduism and the Tibetan Book of the Dead, outlining the major "higher consciousness" models that emerged from the Transpersonal movement, and describing top contributors and periods. Original.

From Publishers Weekly

This New Age compendium falls comfortably somewhere between a scholarly history and a glossy coffee-table book. The nostalgic mix will especially please baby boomers and others who lived, heard or read about dimensions of this truly big-tent, still-thriving spiritual movement. This fast-paced history relies heavily on quick biographies to tell the New Age story. For genesis, Drury, author of more than 40 titles on shamanism and magic, looks to Emanuel Swedenborg, Franz Mesmer and Helena Blavatsky. Then he swiftly touches on mind-probers (Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Carl Rogers); Esalen Institute founders Michael Murphy and Richard Price; San Francisco's famously psychedelic Haight-Ashbury district; Eastern delvers Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts; and the Harvard spiritual spelunkers triumvirate of Ralph Metzner, Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass) and Timothy Leary. Later chapters skip through mythologizers Jean Houston and Joseph Campbell; poet Allen Ginsberg; the timeless Tibetan Book of the Dead; John Lilly's sensory deprivation tanks; yoga; all-stars Shakti Gawain and Deepak Chopra; Maharishi Mahesh, guru to the Beatles; nonguru Krishnamurti; native pathfinders Starhawk, Carlos Castaneda and Lynn Andrews; quantum physics as it pertains to timeless connections; near-death experiences; and more. This cumulative remembering is a good trip, and the 131 illustrations bring the wonderful flashback home to rest.