Saturday, October 9, 2010

Review: Voodoo Histories: How conspiracy theory has shaped modern history by David Aaronovich

If you think that conspiracy theories are merely the result of the internet’s unchecked free flow of information then this book will correct that view. From before the forging of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion up to the present obsession with Obama's birthplace conspiracies have been floating around the fringes of society for centuries. Here, David Aaronovich takes us through the history of some of the largest conspiracy theories from JFK to 9/11, and shows us how they have come to feed off each other, and the catastrophic affects they can have on the peace and security of the world.

If you’re fed up with pub bores and internet trolls preaching half truths and misguided nonsense and you need a little ammunition to fight the war on bullshit then this is not a bad place to start. Readable, witty and informative. Aaronovich has researched the backgrounds of many conspiracy theorists and their theories to shed some light and historical context on them. Whilst he doesn’t sift through every detail of every theory disproving them one by one he does apply philosophical tools such as Occam’s razor and a large dollop of commonsense to explain the implausibility, and sometimes impossibility of many of the theories.

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