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The Fated Sky

Astrology in History

Astrology is the oldest of the occult sciences, and it has had an unshakeable hold on the human mind for centuries. Universities, such as Oxford and the Sorbonne, offer courses on it. In THE FATED SKY Benson Bobrick gives us a fascinating history of the discipline that Ralph Waldo Emerson called 'astronomy brought down to earth and applied to the affairs of men.' Notable Greeks and Romans fervently believed in astrology. St. Augustine condemned it, but St. Thomas Aquinas thought astrology not incompatible with Christian faith. Shakespeare accepted it, and when Edmund Halley disparaged astrology, Isaac Newton said to him, 'I, sir, have studied the subject, and you have not.' All the great Renaissance astronomers believed in the influence of the stars and planets over human affairs. In more recent times, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle and Ronald Reagan consulted astrologers. As Carl Jung predicted, astrology is again a subject of serious study, and now Benson Bobrick has written the first complete history of the world's oldest subject.

Photograph by Ezra Distler

Benson Bobrick earned his doctorate from Columbia University and is the author of several critically acclaimed works, including Wide as the Waters: The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired and Angel in the Whirlwind: The Triumph of the American Revolution. In 2002 he received the Literature Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He and his wife, Hilary, live in Vermont.

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 19, 2007)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743268950

"[A] robust, fact-filled account of [astrology]....a rich feast of astrological lore."

-- Carlin Romano, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A cosmopolitan and amusing first look at a big subject."

-- Anthony Grafton, The Washington Post

"Entertaining....Bobrick is a playful and innovative historian who demonstrates that [astrology] has a rich and colorful past to draw upon."

-- Dick Teresi, The New York Times Book Review

More books from this author: Benson Bobrick