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Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History
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Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History (Hardcover)

by David Aaronovitch (Author)
1.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd (7 May 2009)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0224074709
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224074704
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Sales Rank: 22 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)

    Popular in these categories:

    #1 in  Books > Reference > Fun Facts & Trivia > Curiosities, Imponderables & Wonders
    #2 in  Books > History

    (Publishers and authors: Improve Your Sales)

Product Description

Product Description
Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere - from Pearl Harbour to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. Bookshop shelves threaten to collapse under the weight of texts devoted to proving myriad conspiracy theories true, while even quality newspapers and serious TV channels are prepared to give them credence. For David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern. These theories used similar dodgy methods with which to insinuate their claims: they linked themselves to the supposed conspiracies of the past (it happened then so it can happen now); they carefully manipulated their evidence to hide its holes; they relied on the authority of dubious academic sources. Most importantly, they elevated their believers to membership of an elite - a group of people able to see beyond lies to a higher reality. But why believe something that entails stretching the bounds of probability so far? Surely it is more likely that men did actually land on the moon in 1969 than that thousands of people were enlisted to fabricate a deception that they did. In this entertaining and enlightening book - aimed to provide ammunition for those who have found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or twin towers - Aaronovitch carefully probes and explodes a dozen of the major conspiracy theories. In doing so, he looks at why people believe them, and makes an argument for a true scepticism: one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.

About the Author
David Aaronovitch is an award-winning journalist, who has worked in radio, television and newspapers in the United Kingdom since the early 1980s. He lives in Hampstead, north London, with his wife, three daughters and Kerry Blue the terrier. His first book, Paddling to Jerusalem, won the Madoc prize for travel literature in 2001.

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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
1.0 out of 5 stars A Stupid book, dumb and crooked as a Banker..., 4 May 2009
By H. Josson "bobby j" (UK) - See all my reviews
Imagine an alternate universe where Watergate got concealed and buried by Nixon, where the Suez Crisis never occured because Britain, France and Isreal effectively instigated a coup in Eygpt. Or where the CIA's assasinations of African, Middle-East and Latin American countries was never revealed (sometimes for business interests). Where the blotch of Iran-Comtra didn't exist, or the mining of a soveriegn nation's harbours never got the go ahead from Reagan. Where the complete and comprehensive treaty violations of the US Government against Native Americans never seeped past the myths created by film westerns. The list goes on indefinitely, from virtually any country - not just the US.

This is the type of universe that this book would like to create. A falsified, childs view of the world.

If history teaches us anything, it's that Conspiracy is the norm in all powerful collectives; oil and other monopolistic business cartels, corporations, the Mafia, governments, police forces, intelligence agencies. You name it...

What this terrible book does, is to take dodgy methods of thinking that are plain stupid and then tar all intelligent questioning on a given subject. It tries to create a narrative myth and then hopelessly tries to tie in its examples. An example is the 9/11 Scholars for Truth group of physicists, demolitions experts and engineers who question such things as the collapse of (1) THREE buildings, (2) at the speed of gravity, (3) into their own foot prints on September 11th 2001. Something that is against all the known physic laws of the universe. No one from the Government has been able to explain how the 3rd building (Building number 7) also collapsed that day. Instead, to discredit the credentials of these learned men who are trying to seek the truth, he sites one supposed engineer who is supposed to believe America is plotting to bomb Jupiter with antimatter weapons! That's like taking a party like the Tories os the Republicans, finding one of their 'lunatic fringe' and then tarring the whole lot rather than dealing with the prescient facts of their alternative theory. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Another instance is the linking of these various 'conspracies'. There is a world of difference between those who believe in UFOs and Roswell, or 'the Da Vinci Code', or that the Moon landings were faked or that Elvis is still alive, or that Princess Diana was murdered and the the REAL question marks over the Assasination of JFK.

The JFK killing was investigated by the Warren Commission, one of the most incompentent cover-ups in history, that soon started to unravel within a few years. And with the airing of the Zabruder film, was completely discredited (as the brains and head of the President shatter backwards- suggesting that the shots came from up ahead, rather than the book depository), so much so that even the Senate hearings of the mid '70s came to the conclusion that a second gun man was more than likely involved and from the famous grassy knoll.

The book is completely delusional, lazy and seems - for those with open minds towards it - to have an agenda. If you believe that any Government would never conspire to tell you lies or do no evil, such as both the US and British Governments exposing their soldiers to lethal levels of radiation and covering it up, or testing drugs on mental hospital patients, or telling us that Bankers were the salt of the Earth and the finace system safe, then this book is for you. A book made for people who still believe is fairy tales.

Its a dishonest book. Believe this agenda and you can no longer question the powers that be without being called a conspracy nut of the 'lunatic fringe' by the Fox News types. And without open debate and questioning, democracy dies a lot.

This is a book for losers, who'll tow the line, and follow blindly.
If it was offered to me for 1 cent, I'd feel over-charged. Don't waste your time, it will only end up in the car boot sale.

PS: If your do chose to buy it, get 'Who Shot JFK?' by Robin Ramsay, it can be picked up for a cent or two with 2.75 for postage. And the classic 'A People's History of the United States' by Howard Zinn, whilst an afternoon of goggle video will give you the three part BBC classic 'The Power of Nightmares', and the comprehensive 'The Men Who Killed Kennedy?'. '9/11 Demolitions' Asks pertinent questions. And if you really want to get to the truth of the matter, with a multitude fascinating detail - check out the six part 'Evidence of Revision', better than 10 Oscar winning movies.

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