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