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History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time Hardcover – October 20, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newcomers and longtime fans of Meltzer's popular TV show, Decoded (whereon he and a trio of experts investigate the veracity of various myths and legends), will relish this print companion, comprising summaries of 10 of the most intriguing topics pursued on the show, including the fate of John Wilkes Booth, UFOs in Area 51, Leonardo Da Vinci's apocalyptic predictions, the assassination of J.F.K., and more. Mirroring the series, each chapter begins with Meltzer (The Inner Circle) posing a provocative question (e.g., What if I told you that Fort Knox is empty? ) before leading readers through his process of interviewing experts and analyzing ancient texts and other ephemera to determine the answer—if there is one. As viewers know, the majority of his inquiries don't have a definitive conclusion, but half the fun is getting there. Meltzer peppers each section with fascinating asides (an independent panel determined that all the shots that killed Kennedy came from the rear rather than from multiple angles) and trivia (Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier three months after the Roswell incident, something scientists had previously thought impossible) that is sure to keep readers enthralled and conspiracy theorists encouraged to continue to dig for the truth. (Nov.)

From Booklist

Meltzer, the popular author of such conspiracy-minded thrillers as The Tenth Justice (1997), has also been the host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, a History Channel series about conspiracy theories and secret codes. Drawing from the series, this intriguing volume looks at the biggies, among them the mystery surrounding the death of John Wilkes Booth (Did Lincoln’s murderer really die in the days after the assassination?); Area 51, the top-secret Nevada site often associated with UFOs (Does the American government have proof of extraterrestrial visitation?); and skyjacker D. B. Cooper (Has his real identity been uncovered?). Meltzer gains credibility by not being afraid to admit that definitive answers are elusive. This isn’t one of those conspiracy books that pretends to look at all the evidence, all the while offering a conclusion based on its author’s agenda. The goal here is to assess the evidence behind these historical mysteries, to separate (where possible) fact from speculation, and to see where we stand. We leave the book no more certain about the truth than when we started, but with a lot to think about. --David Pitt

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 1St Edition edition (October 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761177450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761177456
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Helpful Advice TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"History Decoded" by Brad Meltzer is an interesting book which complements the TV show that bears the same name, and clarifies several mysteries of the past.

The book is made in ten chapters, each on the subject of one of those mysteries, so reader among other can find additional information about Kennedy's murder, UFOs and John Wilkes Booth's death.

Due to the book shortness, author didn't went too much into details and didn't solve every mystery but instead provided some evidences and left reader to decide will she/he believe it or not...

So although it provides some interesting material that was fun to read, it seems that the target audience is younger readers that will enjoy it the most.
But, don't get me wrong it's an entertaining read that can be recommended also as a nice gift for someone who is interested in history and/or conspiracy theories...
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42 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brad Meltzer chronicles several compelling stories with detailed research and questions and answers on the greatest conspiracy theories in history. The author presents comprehensive information, based on extensive research on: The JFK assassination including the people behind the real stories; Lincoln's assassination and the killing of his assassin; Watergate; Oswald and Jack Ruby in JFK's assassination; John Wilkes Booth and the killing of President Abraham Lincoln with information on the man killed in Garrett's barn; and much more. Brad Meltzer explores the conspiracies and myths as he presents the hard facts through scary stories. Did Booth become a fugitive for 40 years? What really happened on stage in Booth's final performance, and was he killed by Union Troops? Did Booth's family members offer a different version of events? The author presents wild theories as we read the facts, while making our own decisions. The questions and answers presented are extremely thought-provoking such as: Did $20 million in gold and silver disappear at the end of the Civil War? Where was the money hidden 150 years ago? Brad Meltzer includes findings on: The KGC; Robert E. Lee; Jefferson davis; The Confederate treasure; The history behind the Georgia Guidestones; The Rosicrucians; and more. The author describes the essence of decoding a mystery by going to the sources, and researching to conclude startling insights. What were the messages in 1980 revealed by the Guidestones? In addition, the author discusses Dan cooper and the hijacking of North West Orient airlines; Bombs on planes and security procedures; The FBI in historical investigations; The Cornerstone of Democracy; The building of the White House.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Hill on December 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brad Meltzer comes thru again! This is an awesome book on the 10 greatest conpiracies in history! Lincoln, Guidestones, Spear of Destiny, Da Vinci, Fort Knox, Roswell, Kennedy - all the greatest topics that you see on the Decoded history channel show are here! And with the cool included facsimile docs included, I keep waiting for Mckinley and Buddy to walk in to help me find out if the TRUTH is really out there!!! Great book!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Vose on December 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a joy to read stories of our history and untangled conspiracies that we all thought were truth. This book helps to clarify many untruths, but I suppose the "conspiracy theorists" will dismiss this book as bunk. My thanks to the authors.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By pacific rim reader on December 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a very fast read, with little new historical revelations. I may have been expecting a more scholarly work, so don't blame the author for making history interesting. I was just sorry I spent the time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By justme on December 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of the information and possible scenarios were new to me. This gives the reader the chance to form his own opinion on some. I especially enjoyed the section on the Abraham Lincoln assassination, and the real possibility that what I learned in school needed updating. Read it yourself and find out!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wendy V on January 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely love the book and the way it was written and presented. The ten stories with copies of actual documents makes an
impact as I felt like I was actually holding the original. Hope another book is in the making!
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20 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A. W. Hunt on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just because you think someone is following you all the time doesn't mean they aren't. By the same token, just because things don't add up doesn't mean there's a conspiracy, but there might be. The truth is in the facts.

Brad Meltzer and Keith Ferrell have given us a book about 10 of the most outstanding events of the world, and have given us not just the facts of the case, but have given up facimilies of the important papers related to the mystery.

Many of these have ben reviewed on Brad Melter's H'story'd Decoded", but beomg able to have the time to examone important papers in yhour own time makes it more real. In fact, the extra papers are enough to purchase the book on it's own.

While these 10 mysteries are discussed, Meltzer and FErrell leave it to you, the reader, to decide your own truth of the facts.

Here's hopikng they write about another 10 soon!
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