Contemporary Humbug: Astrology and Modern Prophecy, Part 2 of 5

Joseph Adelson, William Bennett, William Cook, Ronald Herzman, and Steven Tigner explore “humbug”—social fascinations such as astrology, modern prophecy, the occult, psychobabble, popular psychology, self-help, and the human potential movement. In each program, the discussion examines cultural precedents, the historical and contemporary vocabularies of “humbug,” and the relationship of “humbug” to American social values and ideologies. In this part, they have a conversation about the ways people attempt to predict the future and the psychological effects of making predictions.

At the time of this interview, Adelson, a Fellow at the National Humanities Center (1978-79), was co–director of the Psychological Clinic at the University of Michigan.  Bennett was director of the Center. Cook was professor of history and Herzman was professor of English at the State University of New York at Geneseo. Tigner was professor of philosophy at the University of Toledo.

This edition of Soundings was conducted by Wayne J. Pond.

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