A Memoir of the Occult, 1966-1989
Reviewed by Star Foster
[Snip] Into The Center Of The Fire: A Memoir of the Occult 1966-1989 is James Wasserman‘s very detailed, well-written account of the occult scene in New York and, to a lesser yet still significant degree, California. The day I received it and was buzzing happily over having received a copy of it, one of my elders came over for dinner. They expressed a perfectly natural cynicism that such books generally glossed over everything that really happened. I had already cautioned myself against that before reading the book. I’m glad to say that in this case our cynicism was proven wrong.
Wasserman’s candor in both delineating the faults and extolling the virtues of everyone in this book, including himself, is refreshing. If there was malice I could not detect it, and if a few people escaped his criticisms then I have to assume it is because he genuinely felt they had no faults worth criticizing. Having read my fair share of occult history, which is too often “revisionist,” I simply don’t think I can praise Wasserman’s approach to this book enough. This is how memoirs should be written. I hope elders in the Pagan and occult communities take notice of this work, and apply it’s approach to recording their own history.