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Conspiranoia!: The Mother of All Conspiracy Theories Paperback – January 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452281288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452281288
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,473,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Jackson, a journalist who has written for the New York Times and Vanity Fair, has composed an inventive but confusing encyclopedic book of conspiracy theories. Jackson's main innovation is to group sub-theories into larger conspiracies, such as "The Master Plan." But since he uses icons to classify theories, readers will need to go back and forth between the table of contents and the chapters to track their interests. And although the text contains a vast number of historical dates and names, Jackson intentionally includes no footnotes. The book should please conspiranoiacs because everyone--from Bill Gates to the Pope--is a potential conspirator; but it's peppered with too many phrases like "insiders say...." There are other books that provide source citations, like Robert Anton Wilson's Everything Is Under Control (LJ 8/98) and Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen's The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Citadel, 1996. rev. ed.) and The 70 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Citadel, 1998. rev. ed.). Both are easier to follow than this volume. Public libraries may want to consider.
-Kimberly A. Bateman, Broward Cty. Lib., Deerfield Beach, FL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

The Truth Is In Here: a dense handbook of contemporary conspiracy theory, obsessively cross-referenced, the ideal millennial index to all the terrors of the fin de sicle. Former Details editor Jackson has an impressively multidimensional understanding of the oft-obscured relationship between archaic, ancient underground bodies like Freemasonry, Cabalists, Illuminati, and the Knights of Malta and such disturbing modern phenomena as the military-industrial complex, Scientology, the Klan, J. Edgar Hoover, neo-Nazis, the Trilateral Commission, and George Bush. He extends this grid along cultural and political vectors, and in the process constructs a Pynchonesque web of conspiracies both familiar (the Kennedy and King assassinations) and obscure (secretive New World Order collectives like the Bohemian Club and Bilderbergers). His choice of a guidebook format (each chapter proposing an evanescent overall conspiracy, in which all relevant paragraphs are cross-referenced by pictogram to the other conspiracy chapters) makes the material easier to grasp than a narrative like Gravitys Rainbow, but strangely numbs the unease that much of it provokes. Jacksons buzz-friendly nature demonstrates how such conspiracy cultureonce personal, therefore unsettlinghas been vitiated by the public mode of entertainment, in which myth becomes inseparable from malfeasance, the vital nature of malign conspiracy arguably reduced to simulacra. Whats missing is any effort to perform a larger, graver task: to figure out which of these malicious netherworlds of corruption might still be brought to account by an increasingly fractious, distracted citizenry. All that said, Jacksons debut remains a page-turner. His entries are concise, detailed, and occasionally hilarious, and they shed necessary light on many shameful episodes of our recent history (such as the CIAs Operation Paperclip, in which top Nazis were smuggled out of Europe to aid in the Cold War). Even readers skeptical of these looming conspiratorial structures may find such material too compelling for comfort. A thoughtful gift for anybody you suspect is considering relocation to rural Montana, or a bomb shelter. (75 photos and line drawings, 21 maps) -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan on March 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Conspiranoia! The Mother of all Conspiracy Theories If you enjoy an amusing, funny, intellectual tome, then Devon Jackson's new book, Conspiranoia! The Mother of All Conspiracy Theories, is just for you. This factual yet connective book is entertaining and well flourished with great theories. Conspiranoia (ken - spir - e - noi' - e): The tendency on the part of an individual or group toward rational or irrational, justifiable or excessive suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others based on the belief that others have joined in a secret agreement to commit an unlawful or wrongful act, or to keep the truth, as the believer sees it, secret. (from the introduction to Conspiranoia!) The format is ingenius because after five minutes the reader falls into its trap of collectiveness. Creatively formed as an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories, Conspiranoia!, can be used as a short or long read. Jackson's innovative design is dividing the theories into sub-divisions, which are then incorporated into larger conspiracies, known as "the master plan." Would you ever think that George Bush would some how be linked to aliens, and the JFK assassination? What do Dalai Lama, Bill Gates, the Mafia, and the CIA have in common? How about the New World Order, Los Alamos National Lab, the Internet and John Tesh? Conspiranoia! connects all the dots and is logical at the same time. You can turn to any page and pick up information easily. If only five percent of the information was true, the book would still be worth reading. Jackson has assembled serious as well as humorous data into theories you never would have imagined. The book starts with "the Master Plan" and the theory topics follow it.Read more ›
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on August 29, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is full to the top with interesting information, especially about hidden connections between various conspiracy theories. I had a strongly mixed reaction to the book. Whenever he was talking about a theory I knew about prior to reading the book, he seemed lucid, fluent and knowledgeable. Whenever he talked about a theory I had never seen before, I found him confusing and oblique. Moreover, the format ofthe book, which had seemed so useful when we were on familiar ground, suddenly became an obstacle to understanding.
My advice: if you already know a lot about conspiracy theories and are looking for a good reference guide, buy this book. If you are familiar with many conspiracy theories and are looking for a book which will tease out the connections between them, buy this book. But if you are just getting started learning about conspiracies, or if you are feeling mildly curious, start somewhere else.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By southpaw68 VINE VOICE on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Author Devon Jackson is not here to tell you whether the theories are right or wrong. He does no analysis along those lines. His book is a lighthearted look of all the theories. Sometimes he seems serious and sometimes he's silly. He seems to be liberal, so he has no trouble recording the supposed misdoings of right wingers, but sometimes he soft peddles when dealing with groups protected by political correctness, to keep himself out of hot water, I suppose.
He has a flow chart drawn by hand on the proverbial crumpled piece of notebook paper showing how all the conspiracy groups are interconnected. I think the funniest conspiracy was the one in which it is said that mercury fillings are used to transmit messages for NASA to the Aliens. Now that's creative! However, I do believe that mercury filling could possibly be poisonous and its better to get the more expensive plastic ones to avoid health problems.
The most interesting conspiracy is how some prominent Americans were Nazi sympathizers, like Allen Dulles. They helped some prominent Nazis get out of Germany after WWII under the CIA's Operation Paperclip and helped them get jobs working for places like NASA. I think I would like to read more about this one. The book presents theories and if your interested you can seek out a more in depth coverage elsewhere. However, the book does not have a bibliography, so you're on your own trying to find them. The book also lists quotes from prominent individuals confirming or denying a grand conspiracy and they are loosely documented to some source, but without a page number. What I'm trying to say is the book is not well-documented.
The book is a fun read, if ultimately frivolous.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By robert c. lafayette on January 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Turn to any page! Wow,if only 10% of the conspiracy Theories are factual...Worth reading. Makes one think.Many links.Theories you would never have imagined.The author has compiled some great data/information worth reading.Some humorous and some very serious....Give this book a read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Brian Burt on November 6, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book almost a year ago. The format is difficult to follow, but it is full of very good info; some of it new to me. I wouldn't think of it as the only conspiracy book you will ever need, but it is useful as a starting point to investigate almost every area in the vast conspiracy universe. I finished the book with twenty or thirty names and events that I want to investigate further. I think that this book would make a great third or fourth conspiacy book for the novice to read. I'm sure it will lead to reading a dozen or more, more detailed books, at least it has for me.
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