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Famous Like Me > Writer > W > James R. Webb

Profile of James R. Webb on Famous Like Me

Name: James R. Webb  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 4th October 1910
Place of Birth: Denver, Colorado, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

James Webb (1945 - 1980) was an English historian and biographer. Webb is remembered primarily for two works The Occult Underground and The Occult Establishment. These were reprinted in one volume with the title The Flight from Reason, which sums up their themes nicely.

Webb's work is important because he challenges the view of (for example) the sociologist Max Weber who had argued that the 19th and 20th centuries were marked by disenchantment and bureaucratisation: the increasing use of reason and the rise of secularism, with the concommitant decline of organised religion and superstition. Webb argued instead that the 19th and 20th centuries had in fact been marked by a revolt against the Enlightenment, and that the rise of irrationalism was much more marked than the rise of rationalism. Webb traced the influence of occult and mystical groups and writers on literature, philosophy and politics. He also wrote a biography of Gurdjieff, and numerous other works.

Webb was generally ignored in his lifetime, but with the increasing rise of irrationalism in the modern world since his death, his work now seems increasingly prescient. After increasing mental health difficulties, Webb committed suicide in 1980.

Selected Works

The Occult Underground (1988) Open Court Publishing. ISBN 0812690737

The Occult Establishment (1976) Open Court Publishing. ISBN 0875484344

The Harmonious Circle (1980) Putnam Publishing. ISBN 0399114653

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article James R. Webb