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Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas Hardcover – March 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476726620
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476726625
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Legal scholar Sunstein has assembled “the most controversial” of his academic articles. And the key word here is academic. These aren’t pieces written for general audiences; each of them was written for a specific readership (an essay about cost-benefit analysis was originally published in The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy), and it’s doubtful many readers who pick up this book will be among the target audience for all of its 11 essays. Maybe treat the book like a buffet: pick the items that appeal to you. Here, for example, is a very interesting article about conspiracy theories, in which the author examines not just the truth or falsehood of such theories but also their purpose within society and the standards by which we accept or reject them. Here’s an excerpt from the author’s 2004 book The Second Bill of Rights, in which Sunstein examined FDR’s 1944 State of the Union speech. Here’s “Marriage,” a look at the meaning of the “right to marry” and its logical extensions (does a constitutional right to marry necessarily include same-sex marriage?). By no means an easy-breezy collection, the book absolutely requires us to pay close attention to what the author is saying and to be prepared to engage in some pretty serious intellectual debate. If that’s your cup of tea, then drink up. --David Pitt

Review

“Glenn Beck has described Cass Sunstein as ‘the most dangerous man in America,’ but the 11 essays collected in ‘Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas’ actually reveal him to be a pretty reasonable guy. He is often provocative but never extreme, and the foaming at the mouth he induces says more about our polarized politics than it does about his ideas…Sunstein is an advocate for what works and a skeptic of grand ideologies that sound good on paper but then wreak havoc in the real world…Throughout the 11 essays in this book, Sunstein is a clear-eyed guide through some of the thornier issues of our day.” (Boston Globe)

“Sunstein seemingly never runs out of ideas….He is a careful thinker and a clear writer.” (Kirkus)

"Sunstein will infuriate partisans on both sides with his even-handedness and his simultaneous embrace of active government and criticism of its excesses. The result is a stimulating exposition of the virtues—and dynamism—of moderation." (Publishers Marketplace)

“A book written to make you think, not tell you what to think…. Neither the devil of Glenn Beck's nightmares nor the revolutionary of radical left, [Sunstein] uses his studies to navigate the chaos of public policy in the modern age." (Seattlepi.com)

“Sunstein has done more than any other scholar to bring cognitive insights to bear on basic questions of law and public policy, and for that he deserves our thanks…He is careful, deliberative, and painstaking.” (The Atlantic)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 68 people found the following review helpful By W. Wilson on April 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ignore the one-star reviewers who have not actually read this level-headed exploration of the consequences of false conspiracy theories in the heads of those who would be provoked to violence. Sunstein, like his former boss Barack Obama in _The Audacity of Hope,_ is reasonable - not at all the extremist he's accused of being but level-headed as a sober Founding Father. This exposition on not only the effects of conspiracy theories but a revisiting of his previous book on Franklin D. Roosevelt's Second Bill of Rights, among other topics, is terrific food for thought. There's no need for me to go over the other topics this book covers: it would be spoiler material. Just check out the table of contents. Rest assured, Sunstein stays on point and engages.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful By PKH on April 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like the insight into how these conspiracy theories get a life. Telling people want they want to hear is a whole lot easier than sticking with the truth.
This is not an easy read, it's not something I would recommend for it's entertainment value. But if you want some insight into peoples thought processes it's a good bit of education.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marvelous Mal on July 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Sunstein is a frightening man. He would stifle dissent as crackpot theories. It will start as public mocking and ridicule with a smile, but will end up being forced compliance at the point of a gun. We already saw this with his White House work as regulatory czar.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Malgron Mutanto on July 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
If Sunstein limited himself to remaining on his campus, writing esoteric articles read by few, and boring students, I would have no problem with his silly theories and efforts to control citizens. But Sunstein has been in government and has the "ear" of totalitarians in government. As noted by another perceptive reviewer, all Liberal busybody chatter starts off well and good as friendly advice with a smile. But sooner or later, some busybody decides this advice should be a government regulation created by some esoteric agency.
Try ignoring the "friendly" advice then. Sooner or later, armed men will come to you and force you to comply. Doubt it? Try violating some EPA, FDA, FCC or other regulation.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Raimundo Figueroa on June 17, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sustein disclosed the lack of transparency in our era. Great book with the idea we need at this time and time
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9 of 19 people found the following review helpful By heather on April 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Cass Sunstein writes books to make you think. You don't have to agree with the ideas, but he does make you think. His political ties to Obama should not make any difference to his writing and whatever political party you are should not make any difference. You will either like this book or hate it, but at least there is the freedom of speech to write such a book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Most strongly Recommend to Id publicly-written-approval in regards to State Crimes Against Democracy.

Although I don't like this book one bit, I most strongly recommend it to other emotionally mature adults.

Edited:

I started looking at alternate/expanded information a few years ago because Main Stream Media outlets (MSM) presents packaged, sanitized & distorted versions of reality that only benefits a selected few, at the expense of most others. With this in mind, it's agreed that there's an astonishing, incalculable wealth of alternate viewpoints presented on the internet that may or may not have the academically approved "authority" stamped on it, thus its imperative one follows up and validate everything you can but more importantly; ask yourself what or why is that information there in the first place. My example is the discovery of this specific publication, via the internet.

I agree that the internet can produce profane and/or disagreeable and dangerous Ideas that fail to acknowledge emotional maturity (some might call it your gut feeling) to separate truth from deception, but eventually the decision rests on what you think you might know, or what you know as fact. That's why I most strongly recommend this publication that includes the other links I've produced throughout my customer review. I have no qualifications to speak of so I most strongly advise any customer reading my personal observations of this publication and any additional info I might offer to be taken with extreme prejudge until you do your own homework.

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Format: Hardcover
Conspiracy theories not backed by credible evidence would ordinarily be ignored as harmless ramblings.

But when the government goes to extreme lengths to discredit an alternate (conspiracy) theory about how Global warming is not supported by the data or that the Twin Towers collapsed at near free-fall speed due to controlled demolition - suddenly these theories - backed by thousands of pages of forensic evidence - are too dangerous for Sunstein, Obama and Bush to laugh at.

Laugh, indeed.

The American people are waking up to being repeatedly punked by corpse media propaganda.

Professor, James Tracy has this to say:

"A new crusade appears to be underway to target independent research and analysis available via alternative news media. This March saw the release of “cognitive infiltration” advocate Cass Sunstein’s new book, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. In April, the confirmed federal intelligence-gathering arm, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), released a new report, “Agenda 21: The UN, Sustainability, and Right Wing Conspiracy Theory.” Most recently, Newsweek magazine carried a cover story, titled, “The Plots to Destroy America: Conspiracy Theories Are a Clear and Present Danger.”

As its discourse suggests, this propaganda campaign is using the now familiar “conspiracy theory” label, as outlined in Central Intelligence Agency Document 1035-960, the 1967 memo laying out a strategy for CIA “media assets” to counter criticism of the Warren Commission and attack independent investigators of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. At that time the targets included attorney Mark Lane and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, who were routinely defamed and lampooned in major US news outlets.
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