An American Covenant: A Story of Women, Mysticism, and the Making of Modern America

Lucile Scott. Topple, $24.95 (300p) ISBN 978-1-5420-9127-5
Journalist Scott delivers an in-depth look at five “feminist mystics” from American history in her provocative debut. Contending that mystical movements have “erupted into the cultural mainstream” at “pivotal moments in the fight for liberty,” Scott reveals how the female leaders of these movements have risen to prominence and been repressed by the powers that be. She profiles Marie Laveau, the 19th-century “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans,” who achieved power and prestige in a city sharply divided by race and gender; Cora L.V. Scott, a leading Spiritualist who claimed to channel the spirit of a minister’s deceased son; Madame Blavatsky, cofounder of the Buddhist- and Hindu-inflected Theosophical Society; Zsuzsanna Budapest, who created the “first-known explicitly feminist witch ritual” in L.A. in 1971; and “New Age sage”and former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson. In addition to biographical sketches of each woman, Scott provides the historical context for their movements, and details her own search for identity and spiritual solace amid personal turmoil. Though the combination of memoir and history can be awkward at times, Scott writes with blunt honesty, a sharp eye for detail, and a strong sense of purpose. The result is an impassioned tribute to the perseverance and radicalism of female spiritual leaders in America. Agent: Jane Dystel, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-7997-6160-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-7997-6159-4
Paperback - 978-1-5420-9129-9
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