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Talking With The Dead
(Barbara Weisberg)

Ever wonder where the good all-American seance came from...this book takes the reader into the world of some of America's first mediums and mystics, Kate and Maggie Fox. It follows their career from the beginning when thetwo youngsters heard non-stop rapping in their house. They could not sleep or function normally and began to communicate with whateverwas making the raps by creating their own code.Eventually through code, the girls learned that they were talking to a ghostly spirit that had a message and modern spiritualism as we still know it was born. Throughout their lives, these girls would undergo humiliating tests to prove their sincerity and authenticity, each of which they passed.In it all, they remained still young girls who grew into beautiful women, each with their own suitors, also eachwith people who exploited them and their abilities. Also, in theis story we see the desperation of those who had lost loved ones trying in some way to communicate with those they loved. Many famous names appear in this book, in the story of Maggie and Kate, in theirlives.This is a fascinating story because of it's content but also because it is written by a very talented historian who has the ability to blend historical factwith the humanness that is history...the stories of people's lives. There is a section written about Kate, the youngest girl who goes to live with a very famous figure in our country's history. She is there basically to help them communicate with their dead child but is miserable. She writes letters to a close family friend that beginout of boredom but then, becomepleading love letters of a sort. This older gentleman then becomes concerned for this young girl who is becoming a young woman but is not being given the chance to experience real life. Instead she, like many of our modern child stars is being used for her ability to contact the dead. Whether you are a believer or not, this makes for a fascinating read becausethe topic isalmost an American slang...most of us have participated in a seance at some point in our lives. For this writer...it was at a slumber party and I still believe to this day that we were successful...thanks to Kate and Maggie fox who permanently embedded this phenomenon on Americanculture.

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