From left-wing 9/11 conspiracy theorists to right-wing Obama-hating "birthers"—a sobering, eyewitness look at how America's marketplace of ideas is fracturing into a multitude of tiny, radicalized boutiques—each peddling its own brand of paranoia
Throughout most of our nation's history, the United States has been bound together by a shared worldview. But the 9/11 terrorist attacks opened a rift in the collective national psyche: Increasingly, Americans are abandoning reality and retreating to Internet-based fantasy worlds conjured into existence out of our own fears and prejudices.
The most disturbing symptom of this trend is the 9/11 Truth movement, whose members believe that Bush administration officials engineered the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a pretext to launch wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But these "Truthers" are merely one segment of a vast conspiracist subculture that includes many other groups: anti-Obama extremists who believe their president is actually a foreign-born Manchurian Candidate seeking to destroy the United States from within; radical alternative-medicine advocates who claim that vaccine makers and mainstream doctors are conspiring to kill large swathes of humanity; financial neo-populists who have adapted the angry message of their nineteenth-century forebears to the age of Twitter; Holocaust deniers; fluoride phobics; obsessive Islamophobes; and more.
For two years journalist Jonathan Kay immersed himself in this dark subculture, attending conventions of conspiracy theorists, surfing their discussion boards, reading their websites, joining their Facebook groups, and interviewing them in their homes and offices. He discovered that while many of their theories may seem harmlessly bizarre, their proliferation has done real damage to the sense of shared reality that we rely on as a society. Kay also offers concrete steps that intelligent, culturally engaged Americans can take to reject conspiracism and help regain control of the intellectual landscape.
Kay does not describe in detail Truther theories or attempt to debunk them.
I would normally give this book one star, but his bravery to even take part in this debate earned him the prestigious second star.
I bought the book to better understand the people I was debating with and was not disappointed.
Jonathan Kay provides insights into the recent increase in conspiracy movements. According to Kay, the watershed event was the assassination of JFK which gave birth to all sorts... Read morePublished 2 months ago by bronx book nerd
Scary in so many ways. He explains how we got to where we are and why fanatics are around every corner. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rich
Viewed negatively, "Among the truthers" is a screed against Truthers and other
conspiracists. Read more
This is a most disturbing book. It's a little dry, but I've read it twice and find it's arguments convincing. I think the author is right. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Roger Clark
Several of the 1-star reviews covered my problems with this unfortunate work (and impressively well). Read morePublished 19 months ago by Brock Rhodes
I read this book several months ago but I still refer to constantly it in conversations. It is really a great exploration of the fascinating and disturbing phenomenon of... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Amazon Customer
Kay is a very thoughtful observer, sometimes veering toward painting with too broad a brush, but on the whole very fair. The book is excellently written, and I highly recommend.Published 22 months ago by Brian G. Mattson