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Publisher's Summary

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 award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories.
He found that 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; and 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? Surely it is more likely that men did actually land on the moon in 1969 than that thousands of people were enlisted to fabricate an elaborate hoax.
In this entertaining and enlightening book---aimed at providing ammunition for those who have found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or the twin towers---Aaronovitch carefully probes and explodes a dozen of the major conspiracy theories. In doing so, he examines why people believe them and makes an argument for a true skepticism---one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.
©2009 David Aaronovitch (P)2010 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By PearlGirl on 04-05-10

Another debunker of conspiracy theories

If you enjoy the fun of following a good conspiracy theory, this book is not for you. This book debunks famous and not so famous theories and sometimes the author explains why we would rather believe them than the truth. If I had the paper copy, then I could see the author's research. Some theories probably deserve debunking, but others are set firmly in their believers's imagination. The theories that received the most attention are the ones that seem to have made a fortune for their authors. Despite possible sour grapes, the book is entertaining. The reader's voice has a nice natural lilt and I wish he wouldn't try other accents. Overall, the book has not shaken my faith in my own beliefs. His application of humor keeps me from being insulted personally.

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9 of 11 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Holly on 07-16-13

Dreadful fake accents

I hardly know what to say about the book itself - I couldn't get past the awful fake accents the reader used. I truely LOATHED them!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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