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Nostradamania

October 07, 1990

In his review of "The Mask of Nostradamus" (Sept. 2), Malcolm Dean has, I believe, unfairly represented the contents and the claims of my book, which he lumps in with "dubious literature."

In an apparent attempt to save the rapidly dwindling reputation of astrology, Mr. Dean devotes some 40% of his review not to my book but to a curious statistical finding of two French psychologists, a matter in which I was not "closely associated" as he chooses to state; I was not in any way involved with it. Even Dean admits that the French finding does "not support modern astrological methods," and he might have added that it has nothing at all to do with astrology at any period of history, which is why I ignored it in my book.

I cannot find where Mr. Dean obtained what he calls the "misleading and inaccurate" subtitle--"The First Biography of Nostradamus"--that he claims I used to describe my book. This invented reference appears nowhere in the book, on the jacket or in the advertising. In my bibliography, I list 12 previous biographies, and there are many more.

Nowhere does the reviewer deny any of the damning evidence I have produced to show that Nostradamus was the Jeane Dixon of his day; that is, highly respected for no apparent reason. Instead, he makes unsupported accusations of purposeful omissions, prejudice and lack of scholarship on my part.

I can have no objection to legitimate, properly derived criticism of my work, but this review, offered by one who is already admittedly dedicated to belief in cosmic influences, cannot go unchallenged. As someone designated by Mr. Dean to be a "tub-thumper," I have apparently thumped his personal tub rather soundly. It sounds quite empty.

JAMES RANDI

PLANTATION, FLA.

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