Ever since the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman assassinated President John F. Kennedy, people who doubt that finding have been widely dismissed as conspiracy theorists, despite credible evidence that right-wing elements in the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service - and possibly even senior government officials - were also involved. Why has suspicion of criminal wrongdoing at the highest levels of government been rejected out-of-hand as paranoid thinking akin to superstition?
Lance deHaven-Smith asks tough questions and connects the dots among five decades' worth of suspicious events, including the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the attempted assassinations of George Wallace and Ronald Reagan, the crimes of Watergate, the Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages deal, the disputed presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, the major defense failure of 9/11, and the subsequent anthrax letter attacks.
Sure to spark intense debate about the truthfulness and trustworthiness of our government, Conspiracy Theory in America offers a powerful reminder that a suspicious, even radically suspicious, attitude toward government is crucial to maintaining our democracy.
©2013 University of Texas Press (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks
"DeHaven-Smith offers an intriguing take on the origins and implications of conspiracy theories and the paranoid mindset itself in this accessible academic study." (Publisher's Weekly)
"Conspiracy Theory in America is an excellent presentation, logical and well documented." (James Richard Bailey, FiredogLake.com)
Very boring. A lot of fluff and not a lot of info about conspiracy theories.
disturbingly accurate depiction with implausable "fix" proposed, conspiracy theories have only become pejotatives since JFK's murder.
Dr.de-haven smith sheds new light on old way thinking..definitely makes concrete points and how to make one think...very good..narrator is kinda bland but easy to forget bout that cause of such well thought out points are made from beginning to end..
Paranoid schizophrenics, people suffering from severe head injuries, anyone who has ever tried to cite a youtube video as a scholarly source,
Not universally, though it has made me do more research into the books before buying them
The narrator is the least of this book's problems
the entirety of the book
One of those truly special cases where a viewpoint is presented so poorly that it becomes a strong argument for the antithesis. The only debate it inspires is whether the author was trying his best to support an poorly reasoned opinion or if he is knowingly attempting to mislead others but lacks the rhetorical skills to do so. On many occasions, Mr. deHaven Smith presents examples for one point that contradict his earlier arguments, often within the same chapter or even the same paragraph.
His main gripe seems to be that the very idea of "conspiracy theories" exists only to silence debate on certain subjects regardless of contrary evidence. He then goes on to say that we know these kind of conspiracies are going on because of known conspiracies like Iran/Contra, Watergate and the justification for the War in Iraq. Amazingly, the author does not recognize that those examples are prime examples of the fact that conspiracies supported by the evidence are not silenced by academics, journalists or even law enforcement. He rails against those who ignore proof that doesn't fit the "official story", but goes on to discount any and all evidence that contradicts the conspiracy theory because the investigators must be in on it.
The impetus for this book, according to the author, was frustration that anything tarred with the conspiracy theory label was automatically not taken seriously and that proponents of those theories were thus seen as idiots or psychotics. Unfortunately he then went on to write a book that reinforces all of those stereotypes. I would compare the magnitude of failure to a scenario in which Mein Kampf had been intended as denouncement of anti-Semitism and a defense of Germany's Jews.
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