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The Allure of Immortality: An American Cult, a Florida Swamp, and a Renegade Prophet

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3.98  ·  Rating details ·  51 ratings  ·  11 reviews
“Brilliantly written and strangely moving. Millner has resurrected the lost history of a cult devoted to a utopian vision as pure as it was outlandish.”—Steve Almond, author of God Bless America: Stories
 
“A fascinating look at the American search for meaning and ultimate answers. Millner writes with grace and makes history an adventure.”—Dan Wakefield, author of New York
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Hardcover, 360 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by University Press of Florida (first published September 24th 2015)
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3.98  · 
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 ·  51 ratings  ·  11 reviews


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Annalinda Ragazzo
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is how history should be written and read! As a docent at the Koreshan State Historic Site, I knew the story of Cyrus Teed and the Koreshan community. But this book has provided me with incredible facts, insight and understanding. Using first person accounts and blending meticulous historic detail with "grab you" journalistic writing, Lyn Millner has brought to life a fascinating period in American and Floridian history.
Ruthmarie
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Of interest to me because I visited the Koreshan site in the 1970s and now live nearby and find the history and locale interesting. The book itself was not a compelling read for me, though I dutifully finished it at a snail's pace. Now I will go visit again, this time understanding more of the beliefs of the Koreshans and more about their place in the early history of Estero. Today, the College of Life continues in a twenty-first iteration. Energy forces still at work . . . .
Sharon
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A meticulously researched account of the Kordeshan community, a religious cult/sect in the Fort Myers area who followed 18th century preacher Cyrus Teed. This work will be of particular interest to readers who like books on Florida history or on American populist religious movements in the 1800s - 1900s.
Sheryl Ann
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fascinating history of Southwest Florida and a cult that flourished for awhile believing they were living inside the earth.
Haley Thomas
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
could have used more murder
Marci Seamples
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Growing up in SW Florida, Koreshan was a term I was vaguely familiar with. I remember, upon hearing of the incidents in Waco and the name Koresh, wondering if he was somehow connected with that park in Estero. But a teenager at the time (and pre-Internet on top), I didn't wonder long. As an adult I promised myself I'd go visit the park -- but never got around to it.

Lyn Millner recently visited our Naples Press Club to speak about her new book "The Allure of Immortality". Even from her brief talk
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David
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I found the chapter on the Koreshans' hollow-earth model particularly interesting. And the quick visit with Edgar Peissart (p. 246), who was apparently a professional cult-joiner, is intriguing.
Sam
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Easy read. I really enjoyed Millner's narative. I don't relate to the Koreshans much but am thankful for some new knowlede into my local history. Visited the Koreshan State Park as an FGCU student which sparked my interest into this book. I strongly recommend making a trip to the park.
Kyle
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read!
James
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read my full review of The Allure of Immortality at The Florida Book Review .
Molly
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating subject matter, wonderfully written. The author kept me engaged, start to finish.
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Born a mile from Elvis’ birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi, Lyn grew up in Jackson, frequenting Lemuria Books, where her mom often left her while she ran errands. So began a love of reading and reverence for writers.

Lyn's radio stories and essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and Weekend Edition and on American Public Media’s Marketplace. Her print work has appeare
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