Conspiracy and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$16.94
Qty:1
  • List Price: $18.95
  • Save: $2.01 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From Paperback – May 1, 1999


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$16.94
$12.95 $4.68
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Frequently Bought Together

Conspiracy: How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From + Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground + Political Conspiracies in America: A Reader
Price for all three: $55.67

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684871114
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684871110
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,214,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The New World Order, CIA drug rings, UFOs in New Mexico, the JFK assassination, the Elders of Zion--all are the products of politically disaffected and culturally suspicious minds, writes Daniel Pipes, author of The Hidden Hand: Middle East Fears of Conspiracy. Here he examines the nature of conspiracy theories and asks, "What makes otherwise intelligent people believe in phony phenomena?" and "Why is antisemitism so often its central feature?" Pipes usefully lays out a few hypotheses about conspiracy theories, and distinguishes them from actual conspiracies (which are real, of course). Although the book could benefit from some organizational improvement, it contains many astute observations. Readers interested in its subject will find it worth examining. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A moderately successful effort to address an inherently amorphous topic. Pipes (The Rushdie Affair, 1990, etc.) enters a shadowy world by distinguishing between (real) conspiracies and (imaginary) conspiracy theories. Applying this distinction requires subjective judgment, but on the whole he maintains a reasonable perspective. ``Conspiracism,'' the most virulent belief in a conspiracy, dates back to the First Crusade and reached its apex in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. While the British and American governments have been prime suspects in recent centuries, historically there has been amazingly little variation in the focus of conspiracists: Based on an apparently unwritten rule that the seriousness of the threat is inversely related to plausibility, Jews and various secret societies are the favorite culprits. The former have deviously hidden their intentions by posing as the persecuted, and groups as innocuous as the Freemasons and as imaginary as the Rosicrucians have dominated the world in ways that can be grasped only by the truly paranoid mind. The delusions of Hitler and Stalin moved conspiracism beyond comedy and into tragedy, but Pipes argues that these horrors have lessened its appeal and that conspiracy theories have been on the wane since the end of WW II. Oddly, while Pipes (a contributor to Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and other magazines) maintains that conspiracism is ``ambidextrous'' rather than a left- or right-wing affair, he nevertheless includes a chapter devoted to demonstrating that conspiracism of the left is now more dangerous than that of the right. This political sojourn provides insight into his more questionable judgments (e.g., downplaying the conspiracist element of American anticommunism and the popular appeal of the contemporary radical right) but adds little to a somewhat repetitive work. To be fair, however, Pipes does provide a solid sketch of a difficult and intriguing topic without indulging in sensationalism. Of course, debunking conspiracy theories might just be a way to deflect suspicion . . . -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I found this book to be an excellent survey of the various different strands of conspiracy theories. Pipes goes through the long historical pedigree (if such a word is appropriate) of conspiracy theories, and he sets out a pretty good model for how to tell the difference between a nutty conspiracy theorist and a person with a healthy critical skepticism of the motives and actions of the government and other groups. While he is sometimes a bit too dismissive of those who agree with some conspiracy theories, his book is a useful antidote to the pseudo-intellectual quackery that many conspiracy theorists arm themselves with, and he shows the very real danger that these theories, when unchecked, can cause (e.g.: antisemitic theories and Nazism, antigovernment theories and the Oklahoma City Bombing). He also does a pretty decent job of putting the theories and theorists into a larger cultural and political context. However, for a good primer of conspiracies, real and imagined (I think, largely imagined), I'd also recommend reading "The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time" by Jonathan Vankin and Ed Whalen (I think that is their names). Both of these books will keep you riveted, and introduce you to some fascinating and little-known facts.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
26 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Skubinna on March 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Pipes follows the history of conspiracism and determines that it has two separate and distinct main threads: anti Semitism; and secret societies. There is occasional overlap and crossover between the two, but in general they have remained apart. While his research appears sparse at points, that may be due to the huge scope of his view, and to the very real difficulty in researching the essentially unresearchable (for example, how far can one study a "secret society" before losing oneself in the contradictions of myth, fact, and most revealing, myths accepted as facts?). At times the thread pursued by the author seems tenuous, but he does make a telling case in support of his thesis of these two dominant strains of conspiracism. Most chilling of all is his discussions of nations where conspiracism has become official state policy, specifically Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. I would have liked more indepth study of postwar American conspiracy theories, such as UFOs, the UN, and connections, if any, with various New Age beliefs, but that's my own particular interest. Mr. Pipes is mainly concerned with a broader historical picture.
While Mr. Pipes follows these twin paths of conspiracism, he demolishes the most widely accepted belief of the conspiracy theorists, that there are continuous sects and societies behind everything, and that all we see is simply the outward manifestation of their centuries long struggle for dominance. Make no mistake - the postulation of a continuous thread of conspiracism is not the same as accepting the existence of the conspiracies spanning generations and continents.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 33 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Pipes book is a fair-minded but clear-headed review of the sources and motives of conspiratist thinking and its long-standing appeal. While many have rightly discerned the negative impact of communism, how many millions of deaths this century can be attributed to two conspiratists--Stalin and Hitler--who actually came to power and position to "do something" about the conspiracies they believed in? With piercing clarity, Pipes describes the motives and paranoia that led to massive genocide and that was sourced directly from paranoid epistemology. If you are interested in Conspiracy Theories or know someone that is, buy this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Charles D. Hayes on June 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pipes observes, "Every hate group has a conspiracy at the heart of its thinking." He goes on to explain how the "Right and Left engage in similar forms of conspiracism because they share much with each other-a temperament of hatred, a tendency toward violence, a suspiciousness that encourages conspiracism-and little with the political center." The best book I've read on the subject. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Pipes has written a well documented account and history of conspiracies across the ages. I do feel that he doesn't fully appreicate the degree that "conspiracy" thinking has infliltrated America today. Overall, a wonderful effort by Mr. Pipes to examine and explain the often "unclear" and baffling world of "conspiracy theories." This isn't the definitive work on "conspiracies"; it's worldviews and history, that I've been waiting for, but it is a step in the right direction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
33 of 49 people found the following review helpful By southpaw68 VINE VOICE on June 26, 2002
Format: Paperback
Daniel Pipes is an anti-conspiracy theorist and he makes some good arguments against such allegedly paranoid thinking. Sure you don't trust the mainstream media, but why should you trust your local, possibly wacko, conspiracy theorist? You've read all the paranoid theories, why not read a critique against such theories? It will be a challenge and also just plain good for you.
Pipes says that we should avoid paranoid thinking because it demonizes others that are not to blame and the evidence used against them is faulty. Amusingly, he describes antisemitic theorists who have not even met a Jew.
Pipes most valuable contribution is his history of conspiracy theories, mainly involving Jews and Freemasons at first, and then British and Americans in later times. During the Crusades, antisemitism became more systematic in its hatred and developed conspiracy theories against Jews, in this time of intolerant religious fervor. During the French Revolution, people we're looking for an easy way to explain such a messy and bloody event and began blaming the revolution on the Jews and Freemasons. In more modern times, the world powers of Britain and America were blamed for the world's troubles especially during the Lenin and Stalin regimes which concocted anti-imperialist conspiracy theories. Hitler focused more on antisemitic theories. During this age of totalarianism, paranoid thinking became status quo and murder of "subversives" became commonplace. Pipes also gives an insightful analysis of the characteristics of conspiracy theories.
This is a challenging book for true believers in conspiracy theories and a book that debunkers will enjoy. Perhaps Pipes could have debunked one conspiracy theory directly and this may be a weakness.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search