William McGuire Bollingen: An Adventure in Collecting the Past.
Princeton University Press, Bollingen Series, 340 pp., $18.50
William McGuire’s gentle and genial chronicle of the Bollingen Foundation and its services to scholarship in the fields of mythology, psychology, mysticism, and various forms of esoterica is not, by any means, a history of mere fads and fashionable ideas. But during its less than three decades of active operation—it was dismantled in the late 1960s and its publishing operations transferred to Princeton University Press—it was one of the few prestigious cultural organizations dedicated both to the recovery of the past and to the promotion of a spiritual approach to modern problems, an approach that was hospitable to mysticism and some of the odder branches of the occult.
The Bollingen Press, begun in 1940 by Paul and Mary Mellon, had as its worthy aim the...