Summary and Info
In an early commentary in the newsletter Ferguson described her first glimmers of what she called "the movement that has no name" - a loose, enthusiastic network of innovators from almost every discipline, united by their apparent desire to create real and lasting change in society and its institutions. Her attempt to compile and synthesize the patterns she was seeing eventually led her to develop a second newsletter, Leading Edge Bulletin, and found its culmination in The Aquarian Conspiracy (J.P. Tarcher, 1980), the seminal work that earned her a lasting global reputation.The book's title led to some confusion, having to do with astrology only to the extent of drawing from the popular conception of the "Age of Aquarius" succeeding a dark "Piscean" age. The word conspiracy she used in its literal sense of "breathing together," as one of her great influences, the philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, had done before her.Unabashedly positive in its outlook, the book was praised by such diverse figures as philosophical writer Arthur Koestler, who called it "stunning and provocative," commentator Max Lerner, who found it "drenched in sunlight," and United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Robert Muller, who described it as "remarkable" and "epoch-making." Psychologist Carl Rogers credited her with having "etched, in unforgettable vividness, the intricate web of changes shaping the inevitable revolution in our culture," and said the book "gives the pioneering spirit the courage to go forward."Philosopher and religious scholar Jacob Needleman predicted that the book would help to make "New Age" thinking "more understandable and less threatening" to the general public in America. This was borne out by its success, as The Aquarian Conspiracy steadily climbed to the best-seller list and its viewpoint began seeping into the popular culture. Before long the book was being credited as "the handbook of the New Age" (USA Today) and a guidepost to a philosophy "working its way increasingly into the nation's cultural, religious, social, economic and political life" (New York Times).Although the book was not explicitly political, it expressed early enthusiasm for the radical centrist perspective. In the "Right Power" chapter Ferguson writes, "Radical Center ... is not neutral, not middle-of-the-road, but a view of the whole road. From this vantage point, we can see that the various schools of thought on any one issue - political or otherwise - include valuable contributions along with error and exaggeration".".The book was eventually translated into some 16 foreign languages, and Ferguson became a sought-after speaker across North America and around the world, eventually traveling as far as Brazil, Sweden and India to convey her hopeful message. In 1985 she was featured as a keynote speaker at the United Nations-sponsored "Spirit of Peace" conference, where she appeared along with Mother Teresa and the Dalai Lama of Tibet.
More About the Author
Marilyn Ferguson (April 5, 1938 in Grand Junction, Colorado – October 19, 2008) was an American author, editor and public speaker, best known for her 1980 book The Aquarian Conspiracy and its affiliation with the New Age Movement in popular culture.
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