The United States Of Paranoia

Author: Jesse Walker
Editor: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062383221
Size: 11,32 MB
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A history of America's demons 1693: Cotton Mather suggests that the spirits attacking Salem are allied with the colony's human enemies. At their "Cheef Witch-meetings," he writes, "there has been present some French canadians, and some Indian Sagamores, to concert the methods of ruining New England." 1835: A gunman tries to kill Andrew Jackson. The president accuses a senator of plotting the assassination. Jackson's critics counter that the shooting was arranged by the president himself to gain public support. 1868: An article in the New-York Tribune declares that the Democrats have engineered malaria outbreaks in the nation's capital, pumping "the air, and the water, and the whisky of Washington full of poison." 1967: President Lyndon Johnson asks his cabinet if the Communists are behind the country's urban riots. The attorney general tells him that the evidence isn't there, but Johnson isn't convinced. Conspiracy theories aren't just a feature of the fringe. They've been a potent force across the political spectrum, at the center as well as the extremes, from the colonial era to the present. In The United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker explores this rich history, arguing that conspiracy stories should be read not just as claims to be either believed or debunked but also as folklore. When a tale takes hold, it reveals something true about the anxieties and experiences of those who believe and repeat it, even if the story says nothing true about the objects of the theory itself. In a story that stretches from the seventeenth century to today, Walker lays out five conspiracy narratives that recur in American politics and popular culture. With intensive research and a deadpan sense of humor, The United States of Paranoia combines the rigor of real history with the punch of pulp fiction.

American Paranoia

Author: Andrew Fortin
Editor:
ISBN: 9781791903879
Size: 12,84 MB
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American historian Richard Hofstadter claimed that Americans were paranoid in his famous work titled "The Paranoid Style of American Paranoia." Over the years, Richard Hofstadter gained many followers in this belief that Americans are truly a paranoid nation. Up and coming historian Andrew Fortin challenges Hofstadter's claim by arguing that the American academic culture is not paranoid, but misguided. Using major conspiracy theories developed in the major assassinations that occurred in America's past, Andrew Fortin analyzes the conspiracy theories developed and explains these theories were developed to "fill the gaps" as opposed to paranoia.

Conspiracy Theories In American History

Author: Peter Knight
Editor: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1576078124
Size: 19,37 MB
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The first comprehensive history of conspiracies and conspiracy theories in the United States. * Over 300 A-Z entries on various events, ideas, and persons, as well as crucial supporting and refuting evidence, and competing explanations for the origins, history, and popularity of this mode of political thought * Primary documents from organizations promoting conspiracy theories * Contributions from over 100 international scholars with a full range of historical expertise * Separate section containing about 100 illustrative extracts covering the full range of American history, each with a brief headnote placing it in context

Conspiracy Theories

Author: Aaron John Gulyas
Editor: McFarland
ISBN: 147662349X
Size: 11,91 MB
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Narratives based on conspiratorial and paranoid thinking have become increasingly prominent throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. From the prosaic to the outlandish, conspiracy theories involve aliens and Nazis, underground bases and mind control technology. They range from sinister tales of malevolent reptilian beings infiltrating our government to fears of the New World Order rounding up patriotic Americans and putting them into internment camps. These stories and their underlying concerns have a long history in the U.S. and have often been bolstered by revelations of real conspiracies and cover-ups by private and public entities. This book examines conspiracy theories and the narratives constructed by those who believe and propagate them, providing a unique view of U.S. history and highlighting fears both founded and unfounded.

Architects Of Fear

Author: George Johnson
Editor: J P Tarcher
ISBN:
Size: 10,58 MB
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Reveals how groups, such as the Moral Majority and survivalists, believe in the existence of anti-American conspiracies and how these conspiracies are created from the thinnest fabric

Empire Of Conspiracy

Author: Timothy Melley
Editor: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501713000
Size: 18,51 MB
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Why, Timothy Melley asks, have paranoia and conspiracy theory become such prominent features of postwar American culture? In Empire of Conspiracy, Melley explores the recent growth of anxieties about thought-control, assassination, political indoctrination, stalking, surveillance, and corporate and government plots. At the heart of these developments, he believes, lies a widespread sense of crisis in the way Americans think about human autonomy and individuality. Nothing reveals this crisis more than the remarkably consistent form of expression that Melley calls "agency panic"—an intense fear that individuals can be shaped or controlled by powerful external forces. Drawing on a broad range of forms that manifest this fear—including fiction, film, television, sociology, political writing, self-help literature, and cultural theory—Melley provides a new understanding of the relation between postwar American literature, popular culture, and cultural theory. Empire of Conspiracy offers insightful new readings of texts ranging from Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to the Unabomber Manifesto, from Vance Packard's Hidden Persuaders to recent addiction discourse, and from the "stalker" novels of Margaret Atwood and Diane Johnson to the conspiracy fictions of Thomas Pynchon, William Burroughs, Don DeLillo, and Kathy Acker. Throughout, Melley finds recurrent anxieties about the power of large organizations to control human beings. These fears, he contends, indicate the continuing appeal of a form of individualism that is no longer wholly accurate or useful, but that still underpins a national fantasy of freedom from social control.

American Conspiracy Theories

Author: Joseph E. Uscinski
Editor: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0199351813
Size: 15,78 MB
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Conspiracies theories are some of the most striking features in the American political landscape: the Kennedy assassination, aliens at Roswell, subversion by Masons, Jews, Catholics, or communists, and modern movements like Birtherism and Trutherism. But what do we really know about conspiracy theories? Do they share general causes? Are they becoming more common? More dangerous? Who is targeted and why? Who are the conspiracy theorists? How has technology affected conspiracy theorising? This book offers the first century-long view of these issues.

Transparency And Conspiracy

Author: Harry G. West
Editor: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822330240
Size: 16,33 MB
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Transparency has, in recent years, become a watchword for good governance. Policymakers and analysts alike evaluate political and economic institutions—courts, corporations, nation-states—according to the transparency of their operating procedures. With the dawn of the New World Order and the “mutual veil dropping” of the post–Cold War era, many have asserted that power in our contemporary world is more transparent than ever. Yet from the perspective of the relatively less privileged, the operation of power often appears opaque and unpredictable. Through vivid ethnographic analyses, Transparency and Conspiracy examines a vast range of expressions of the popular suspicion of power—including forms of shamanism, sorcery, conspiracy theory, and urban legends—illuminating them as ways of making sense of the world in the midst of tumultuous and uneven processes of modernization. In this collection leading anthropologists reveal the variations and commonalities in conspiratorial thinking or occult cosmologies around the globe—in Korea, Tanzania, Mozambique, New York City, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nigeria, and Orange County, California. The contributors chronicle how people express profound suspicions of the United Nations, the state, political parties, police, courts, international financial institutions, banks, traders and shopkeepers, media, churches, intellectuals, and the wealthy. Rather than focusing on the veracity of these convictions, Transparency and Conspiracy investigates who believes what and why. It makes a compelling argument against the dismissal of conspiracy theories and occult cosmologies as antimodern, irrational oversimplifications, showing how these beliefs render the world more complex by calling attention to its contradictions and proposing alternative ways of understanding it. Contributors. Misty Bastian, Karen McCarthy Brown, Jean Comaroff, John Comaroff, Susan Harding, Daniel Hellinger, Caroline Humphrey, Laurel Kendall, Todd Sanders, Albert Schrauwers, Kathleen Stewart, Harry G. West

Real Enemies

Author: Kathryn S. Olmsted
Editor: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199753956
Size: 15,95 MB
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This timely book links the explosion of conspiracy theories about the U.S. government in recent years to the revelations of real government conspiracies. It traces anti-government theories from the birth of the modern state in World War I to the current war on terror.

Conspiracies Of Conspiracies

Author: Thomas Milan Konda
Editor:
ISBN: 022658576X
Size: 16,55 MB
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It's tempting to think that we live in an unprecedentedly fertile age for conspiracy theories, with seemingly each churn of the news cycle bringing fresh manifestations of large-scale paranoia. But the sad fact is that these narratives of suspicion--and the delusional psychologies that fuel them--have been a constant presence in American life for nearly as long as there's been an America. In this sweeping book, Thomas Milan Konda traces the country's obsession with conspiratorial thought from the early days of the republic to our own anxious moment. Conspiracies of Conspiracies details centuries of sinister speculations--from antisemitism and anti-Catholicism to UFOs and reptilian humanoids--and their often incendiary outcomes. Rather than simply rehashing the surface eccentricities of such theories, Konda draws from his unprecedented assemblage of conspiratorial writing to crack open the mindsets that lead people toward these self-sealing worlds of denial. What is distinctively American about these theories, he argues, is not simply our country's homegrown obsession with them but their ongoing prevalence and virulence. Konda proves that conspiracy theories are no harmless sideshow. They are instead the dark and secret heart of American political history--one that is poisoning the bloodstream of an increasingly sick body politic.