By Peter Knight

Conspiracy Theories in American background: An Encyclopedia is the 1st accomplished, research-based, scholarly examine of the pervasiveness of our deeply ingrained tradition of conspiracy. From the Puritan witch trials to the Masons, from the crimson Scare to Watergate, Whitewater, and the battle on Terror, this encyclopedia covers conspiracy theories around the breadth of U.S. background, reading the members, businesses, and ideas at the back of them. Its over three hundred alphabetical entries conceal either the documented files of exact conspiracies and the cultural and political value of particular conspiracy speculations.

Neither selling nor disregarding any thought, the entries circulation past the standard biased rhetoric to supply a clear-sighted, dispassionate examine each one conspiracy (real or imagined). Readers will come to appreciate the political and social contexts within which those theories arose, the mindsets and motivations of the folks selling them, the genuine effect of society's reactions to conspiracy fears, warranted or no longer, and the decision (when verifiable) that historical past has handed on each one case.

"The editors of this high-quality reference rightfully assert that 'conspiracy theories have performed an important position in shaping the process American history.' … the 1st to hide the topic comprehensively, this paintings deals a dispassionate examine conspiracy theories, from the Boston Tea social gathering to September eleven, 2001, putting every one within the context of its time."
Library Journal

"This is an engaging reference … an exceptional addition to educational and massive public libraries."

"The encyclopedia admirably accomplishes its targets … Articles are commonly enticing and primary price of their scholarship. … exact in either layout and content material, this can be a critical and helpful attempt, and may definitely turn into one of many extra well known reference titles in lots of library collections."
American Reference Books Annual

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Extra info for Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-2

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Walker and Garrison almost immediately became two of the most hated (and feared) men in all the South. Although the pamphlet itself was considerably less ferocious than its reputation, Walker’s Appeal became notorious for its defense (as a last resort) of violent resistance to slavery, and for its then-unusually apocalyptic warnings about consequences of continued oppression of the black population: “I tell you Americans! that unless you speedily alter your course, you and your Country are gone!

Instead it usually carries an implicit accusation: there are undoubtedly conspiracy facts (the suggestion is), but in this case your view is just a conspiracy theory, a misleading speculation, and even woolyheaded thinking that verges on the mentally disturbed. Usually what lies behind the accusation is either a specific criticism that in this particular case the theory is wrong (for example, contrary to some conspiracy theories, President Roosevelt did not know in advance about the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor), or that the view of history put forward by conspiracy theories is always necessarily wrong (history in this view is not the result of a concerted plot but, to cite two popular positions, the fairly random and unpredictable interaction of countless individuals, or the predictable interplay of vast, impersonal structural forces).

London: Verso. Johnson, George. 1983. Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Kelly, Michael. 1995. ” New Yorker 71 (19 June 1995): 60–64, 66–70, 72–75. Knight, Peter. 2000. ” London: Routledge. ———, ed. 2002. Conspiracy Nation: The Politics of Paranoia in Postwar America. New York: New York University Press. Levine, Robert S. 1989. Conspiracy and Romance: Studies in Broackden Brown, Cooper, Hawthorne, and Melville. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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