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Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, The Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Black Helicopters, The New World Order, and many, many more Paperback – August 11, 2009
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“Arthur Goldwag is a shrewd, fair minded, learned and entertaining tour guide through a world that’s simultaneously funny and frightening. Not a page goes by without some “I-didn’t-know-that!” nugget. Given what’s going on this ever-more-paranoid society, a book like this becomes not only titillating but crucially important.”—Steven Waldman, Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Beliefnet.com
“The answer to your burning questions about subjects from Area 51 to the Yakuza.”—Details
“Delightful.” –The Weekly Standard
“Goldwag is a colorful writer who makes good use of his material as he aims to explain, rather than debunk or expose, a fascinating diversity of beliefs.”—Boston Globe
“The author’s delivery is engaging and entertaining. The amount of research done in this book is astounding. . . . An incredibly insightful, thoroughly enjoyable look at society’s shadow.”—Armchair Interviews
“Goldwag navigates his way through the wilder reaches of human belief with great urbanity.”
—Mark Booth, author of The Secret History of the World: As Laid Down by the Secret Societies
“As entertainingly written as it is enlightening.”
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Top Customer Reviews
I've known about many of these cults, conspiracy theories and societies since I was a kid. Others have sprung into being during the half century that's elapsed since then. Still others are new to me. The wealth of information in these pages and the new details that Goldwag has unearthed on even familiar topics make this book a valuable resource here in 2009.
Some might quibble at the alphabetical organization within each of the book's three sections; I found it a bit odd at first. However, I'm hard pressed to come up with a better structure. It allows Goldwag to tell the full story of each topic he addresses, whether it stretches over tens or hundreds of years. It also makes it easy to zero in on items that might hold particular interest, and to find your way back to them later. Sources are cited frequently throughout the text for anyone interested in delving more deeply into a particular area.
Goldwag clearly is writing from the perspective of an interested rationalist. That's bound to push the buttons of some folks who hold certain notions as articles of faith. A few of the reviews here are evidence of that. For me, there's something intruiging and thought-provoking on every page. That's exactly what I want from a book of this sort.
Ultimately this is a book that very briefly touches all the topics listed on the books cover and inner chapter list. It is written by a writer who considers himself a true rationalist. He is a common-sense pragmatist, to a fault, since he considers any conspiracy, back room surreptitious plotting or hijinks all on, or above the surface, and mostly as isolated incidents. He sees no far reaching conspiracies at all. To show him different facts in any way would undermine his reality just as much as truth that UFOs and real nut bag alien conspiracies are false would undermine the very fringe people he so eagerly writes to debunk.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Listened to the audio version of this & got almost to the end just because of the interesting bits of info and facts. Read morePublished 4 months ago by TM Conway
Frankly, I was disappointed. Of course many of the displayed conspiracies are asinine, as he quite correctly points out. However, there are a LOT of merit in others. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nicholi Dolinsky
Contents as advertised. Saves you time by demystifying the still going organizational hoodwinking.Published 12 months ago by hunter green
Very interesting book, though it is almost an encyclopedia in the amount of information it contains. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Mike De Zubiria
Great book. But could use an updated format like the other great book on secret socities. Also it used a cheap grade of paper which is not good for a book you want to refer to... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Thomas J. Mcway
This book is good if you don't want any one thing in depth but just a general overview, this book is what you are looking for.Published 24 months ago by Eric Lewis