Edgar Cayce: An American Prophet

Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Author Riverhead Books $30 (564p) ISBN 978-1-57322-139-9
Celebrated during his lifetime for his alleged psychic abilities, Cayce's memory has been enshrined today for his remarks on astrology, the future, reincarnation, the lost years of Jesus, the mysterious kingdom of Atlantis and other secrets of the universe. Cayce has been the subject of innumerable memoirs and exegetical analyses, but none quite so massive or so detailed as this bulky hagiography. Kirkpatrick, author of the bestseller A Cast of Killers, has followed standard procedure in presenting Cayce's life in resolutely uncritical terms. Beginning with Cayce's moony youth in rural Kentucky and continuing through his dotage as a (claimed) channel for the Archangel Michael at the Association for Research and Enlightenment Inc., Kirkpatrick recites every apocryphal story of Cayce's marvelous work. He furnishes eye-glazingly copious arcana of value only to the most devoted acolyte: the names, for example, of the other men who lived in the boarding house Cayce occupied in 1902 and 1903, and the exact nature of the relationships Cayce is said to have enjoyed in previous lives with his much younger secretary and ""soul mate,"" Gladys Davis. Relying on the recorded testimony of Cayce and his aged disciples and other dubious evidence, Kirkpatrick writes only in glowing superlatives; the prophet's every deed was a miracle, the photographs he took of ""museum quality."" If Cayce ever made a mistake or had an off day, it has been surgically excised from this record. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
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