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July 13 • 7:00 pm
We’d like to assume that panic and paranoia exist only at the fringes of society or are unique features of the internet age. From Colin Dickey, beloved cultural historian, comes Under the Eye of Power: How Fear of Secret Societies Shapes American Democracy, where he charts the history of America through its paranoias and fears of secret societies. He seeks to explain why so many people—including some of the most powerful people in the country—continue to subscribe to these conspiracy theories. Paradoxically, he finds, belief in the fantastical and conspiratorial can be more soothing than what we fear the most: the chaos and randomness of history, the rising and falling of fortunes in America, and the messiness of democracy. Only in seeing the cycle of this history, Dickey says, can we break it.
Virtual: Free for members. Choose your own price for non-members. REGISTER HERE.
Copies of Under the Eye of Power are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so.
About the Author: Colin Dickey is a writer, speaker, and academic, and has made a career out of collecting unusual objects and hidden histories all over the country. He’s the author of multiple books, including Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places and The Unidentified: Mythical Monsters, Alien Encounters, and Our Obsession with the Unexplained. A regular contributor to the New Republic and Lapham’s Quarterly, he is also the coeditor of The Morbid Anatomy Anthology. With a PhD in comparative literature from the University of Southern California, he is an associate professor of creative writing at National University.
About the Moderator: Mitch Horowitz is a historian of alternative spirituality and one of today’s most literate voices of esoterica, mysticism, and the occult. Mitch is a writer-in-residence at the New York Public Library and the PEN Award-winning author of books including Occult America, One Simple Idea, The Miracle Club, Daydream Believer, Uncertain Places, and the forthcoming Modern Occultism. Mitch’s books have been translated into French, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, Korean, and Portuguese. His work is censored in China.
Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from CT Humanities; the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign; The Hartford; The Mark Twain Foundation; The National Endowment for the Humanities; and Travelers.