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The Haunting of Twentieth-Century America

2.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  45 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In this sequel to The Haunting of America, national bestselling authors Joel Martin and William J. Birnes bring up to the present the story of how paranormal events influenced and sometimes even drove political events. In unearthing the roots of America's fascination with the ghosts, goblins, and demons that possess our imaginations and nightmares, Martin and Birnes show h ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Forge Books
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Aidan Fortner
I'm a skeptic and an atheist. While those aren't the first two adjectives I always choose to describe myself, they are certainly in the top 10. However, I love reading about the occult, the paranormal, and the just plain weird--provided that the authors are entertaining, literate, and perhaps don't take themselves too terribly seriously. So my main complaint about this book was how defensive and self-righteous these authors were without really having any credible substantive evidence; in fact, t ...more
May 15, 2014 Carolyn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a terrible book. I'm not sure I really have the energy to compose an entire review, but after 205 pages I just couldn't take any more. I didn't really know anything about the book or the authors when I started; the cover and title just caught my eye at the library and it made its way into my checkout stack.

Unfortunately, the cover and title have very little to do with the actual subject matter of the book. It meanders from UFOs, to government conspiracy theories, to Freudian psychoanalysis
Mar 09, 2016 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was interesting. I saw it in the library and I wanted to know more about it. I enjoy learning about the paranormal and I love history, so this seemed like a great mix.

I really enjoyed the chapters on ghosts and psychics. Those were just utterly fascinating, first of all, to read about all the presidents and their wives who allegedly still haunt the White House. I've heard the stories before, but to have the incidents laid out in front of me? Pretty cool.

Yes, there are some chapters that rea
Anna Motteler
Apr 02, 2012 Anna Motteler rated it liked it
This wasn't quite what I had expected it to be, that's all I'm going to say.
Jan 17, 2016 Jessica rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
This book has a genuinely interesting premise, but is unfortunately dragged down by awkward writing and the lack of a clear focus. Contrary to the title, it is about all sorts of weird things that have happened throughout human history, some of which tied into additional weird things that happened in 20th century America. It is both too dense and too dry to be a work of popular history, but the scholarship is too poor for it to be a serious academic treatise-- not because of the subject matter ( ...more
Jessica Buike
Sep 06, 2011 Jessica Buike rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
While I haven't read the predecessor to this book, I still obtained a lot of interesting information and greatly enjoyed my read. The copy I had was an uncorrected proof, so there were still a few editing errors. However, this book contained well-researched ideas and presented interesting claims for the reader to ponder. From exploring the Nazis and their ties to the occult, to psychic dreams, and even to the use of astrologists by former U.S. Presidents, this book opens the readers' minds to th ...more
Jay C
Oct 09, 2011 Jay C rated it did not like it
This book is so laughably terrible, I can't put it down. The authors's credulity is unmatched.

I somehow finished this book this morning. It didn't get any better for me. I blame myself for not doing more or better research before I bought it. The title is wildly misleading. I was hoping to read about some new (to me) ghost stories in America, and - with the exception of one chapter - what I got was a vague rambling catalog of every trendy paranormal hot topic throughout history and the world (I.
Theremin Poisoning
Meh. Heavy on the "if only society would accept the paranormal without proof then we'd get proof... alas!" I much preferred the first volume.
May 31, 2014 Rachel rated it it was ok
Loved the first one...this one takes itself a little too seriously! The litmus test of a great book for me: Will I read other things while reading this one? I'll finish this one, but only after I finish Galore!
Aug 31, 2011 Stewie rated it it was ok
Well researched, but problematic. My full review is at
Katie Marek
Oct 19, 2012 Katie Marek rated it really liked it
Shelves: fall-2012
A pretty comprehensive overview of the paranormal, including sections on Jung, Einstein, Cayce, and the Nazis!
Very entertaining read lots of info.
Roger Bailey
Sep 09, 2011 Roger Bailey rated it it was ok
Interesting information, but this really reads like a text book. Long and not always interesting.
Jenny Torpin
May 03, 2012 Jenny Torpin rated it did not like it
I was hoping for more ghost stories and less science...
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