"Magic" is, of course, a dangerous word. It can conjure up visions of sawing a woman in half or of a burning her as a witch, of wondrous wizards commanding mysterious forces, or of the Satanic Church of San Francisco today. Unfortunately, it is also a word to inspire ridicule and contempt in the "rationalist." For this and other reasons, most modern historians of culture and science have deliberately ignored the role of magic in the making of man's world and have thus consigned whole areas of history to darkness, leaving the task of explanation almost completely to the occultist writer, whose own contribution adds more dark than light -- and provides further justification for not giving magic serious study and consideration.
In this fascinating, witty, yet scholarly book, Michael. Edwardes attempts to correct this bias and to put magic back where it properly belongs -- in the mainstream of history, not on its manic periphery.