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The Little Book of Conspiracies: 50 Reasons to Be Paranoid Paperback – September 12, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (September 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560257237
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560257233
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,405,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joel Levy is a writer on history, the paranormal and science. He is the author of several books, including the Kiss Guide to the Unexplained, a beginner's guide to historical secrets and mysteries, the paranormal and supernatural. He lives in London, England. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

1.6 out of 5 stars
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You won't leave from reading this book an expert on anything.
If there is one thing you should be worried about, it's in reading this book and becoming brainwashed that there really is nothing to worry about.
Mr. B.
The book is a great attempt to compact common conspiracy theories into one book and state whether or not to believe in them.
Dan M

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BGP on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Conspiracies. They're everywhere!

As a good skeptic, I naturally take great pleasure in plumbing the depths of each and every semi-popular tinfoiler conspiracy to make its way across both web and town. Consequently, when I saw this little volume on remainder for less than a cup of coffee, I simply couldn't keep myself from buying it. In retrospect, I should have just saved my loose change for another drink.

While the book is, in and of itself, mostly enjoyable, Levy's primary source is Wikipedia (he even admits as much), making his work a pointless repository of unsubstantiated half-truths, at its best.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jaguar on April 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
I couldn't figure out whether this guy intentionally chose to ignore a lot of facts and science out there with many of these subjects, just didn't do enough varied homework, or if this is an intentional hit piece. Just enough (though barely) in the +% range to pretend that he's not an all out conspiracy theory axe murderer. It didn't work. His blindfold glowed like nuclear waste!

Though I am adamantly opposed to banning any kind of books, if I were to ever do so, this would be on my list. The book is dangerous in the manner that it's so full of misinformation (or, disinfo) that it's extremely misleading to those trusting to find some truth in a quick summarized account. I have no problems at all with the quickie format but his ignorance, or out and out lies, are unacceptable.

Stay away from this piece of garbage at all cost! Unless, that is, you are just looking for something to kindle your fires.

Luckily, this book was unloaded to me for free; otherwise, I would be even more pissed off for all the time I lost reading this trash. Figured that I needed to make that time worthwhile by sharing this warning with others.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lucius on July 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This little compendium is divided into 4 sections:
"It Could Be Happening to You: Dangers for everyone"
"Political Conspiracies and Colossal Cover-Ups"
"No One is Safe: Policical Assassinations and faked deaths"
"Sci-Fi Conspiracies: Aliens, lies and mind control"

Each 'conspiracy' begins with a one or two paragraph summary, then three more slightly detailed expositions: "What the theorists say", "The official line", and "How paranoid should you be?" which rates each case as a percentage.

Of the 50 conspiracies in this book, 23 rate between 0% and 5%. So, stop worrying, nothing to fear, it's all crackpottery. Except for the most obviously verifiable cases that rate higher than 50% (the Bush/religious right connection, the Bush/Saudi connection, Iraq WMD deceptions, CIA drug peddling, for example), the general trend in this book is to dismiss conspiracies as groundless and mostly "paranoid nonsense." As the author notes "Where the complexity of science leaves a vacuum of ignorance and misunderstanding, conspiracy theories will rush in to fill the void." (p. 134) Of course, it isn't clear why science leaves a "vacuum of ignorance and misunderstanding" but, hey, when you're paranoid and delusional, who cares what science says anyway.

But to give the author his due, at least he is willing to consider the very strong possibility that there is "obviously more to the Oklahoma bombing than meets the eye..." (70%), or that the post 9/11 anthrax scare is yet an unsolved mystery that served the interests of the neo-cons (82%), or that the the CIA developed so-called Manchurian Candidates (66%). On the other hand, the fact that the 4th section is characterized as science fiction says it all.
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Format: Paperback
Conspiracy theories are, for the better or more like for the worse, an integral part of our culture. Nowadays we take it for granted that as soon as there is some major newsworthy event (especially ones that deal with death and/or destruction) it won't be too long before a sophisticated new conspiracy theory emerges. Some of these conspiracies will stand the test of time, in terms of their stickiness if not factuality, but the vast majority will fade away. This little book aims to give a more or less comprehensive account of some of the most outrageous and enduring conspiracy theories that are in circulation today.

The fifty theories that are covered in this book are divided in four general sections: conspiracies that affect all of us, political conspiracies, political assassination and deaths, and sci-fi conspiracies. Each conspiracy is presented in opposition to the official story, and then debunked with the arguments and facts that are readily available. This book will probably not dissuade the die-hards, but it is a good quick reference for all of us who want to have the facts readily available.

A few conspiracy theories that didn't make it in this book which I would have liked to see featured (and debunked) are: the Freemasons, the Jewish banking lobby, and, of course, the birtherism. The last one of these three still has an uncomfortably high level of devotion in the US, but the other two are very prominent in various parts of the World.

My one major complaint about this short book has to do with the level of paranoia that each one of the conspiracy theories should warrant. Like with all lies, there are elements of truth in all of these conspiracy theories.
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