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Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History

Authors: Aaronovitch, David
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
BISAC/Subject: SOC022000, HIS039000, HIS037000
ISBN: 9781101185216, Related ISBNs: 110118521X, 1594484988, 1594488959, 9781101185216, 9781594484988
Classification: Non-Fiction
Number of pages: 416,
Audience: General/trade
Synopsis: "Meticulous in its research, forensic in its reasoning, robust in its argument, and often hilarious in its debunking... a highly entertaining rumble with the century's major conspiracy theorists and their theories." --John Lahr, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Tennessee Williams

From an award-winning journalist, a history so funny, so true, so scary, it's bound to be called a conspiracy.


Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere- from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one, one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence. 

For David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories. these theories used similarly murky methods with which to insinu­ate their claims: they linked themselves to the supposed conspiracies of the past (it happened then so it can happen now); they carefully manipulated their evidence to hide its holes; they relied on the authority of dubious aca­demic sources. Most important, they elevated their believers to membership of an elite- a group of people able to see beyond lies to a higher reality. But why believe something that entails stretching the bounds of probabil­ity so far?

In this entertaining and enlightening book, he examines why people believe conspiracy theories, and makes an argument for a true skepticism: one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.
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