Among the Truthers : A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-05-17
  • Publisher: Harpercollins

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From 9/11 conspiracy theorists and UFO obsessives to the cult of Ayn Rand and Birther crusaders, America is suffering from an explosion in post-rationalist ideological movements. In Among the Truthers, journalist Jonathan Kay offers a thoughtful and sobering look at how social networking and Web-based video sharing have engendered a flourishing of new conspiracism. Kay details the sociological profiles of ten brands of modern conspiracists-the Failed Historian, the Mid-Life Crack-Up, the Damaged Survivor, the Campus Revolutionary, the Stoner, the Clinical Case, the Puzzle Solver, the Christian Doomsayer, the Cosmic Voyager, and the Egomaniac-in a compelling exploration of America's departure from reason and what it means for the very future of rational discourse as the nation steps further into the 21st century.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introduction: Stumbling on the Truthersp. 1
Don't Call Them ˘Nutbars÷p. 4
Some Caveatsp. 19
The Truth Movement and Its Ancestors
American Conspiracism: A Brief Historyp. 25
Programmed for Conspiracyp. 25
Populism and Paranoia: How Politics Shaped American Conspiracismp. 33
The Men in Black: How Technology Shaped American Conspiracismp. 51
The Emergence of ˘Flowchart Conspiracism÷p. 57
Warrant for Genocide, Blueprint for Paranoiap. 65
A Dark Fairy Talep. 67
Singularityp. 71
Boundless Evilp. 76
Incumbencyp. 81
Greedp. 83
Cui Bono?p. 87
Hypercompetencep. 89
Covering Their Tracksp. 93
False Flags and Lava Lamps: The Birth of a Conspiracy Movementp. 99
Ken Jenkins: Videographer, Flower Child, Trutherp. 99
Operation Northwoods and Its Legacyp. 106
Project for the New American Century: A Modern Northwoodsp. 116
˘Show Me the Birth Certificate÷: Conspiracism in the Age of Obamap. 121
Joseph Farah: Birther Extraordinairep. 121
Drinking Tea in Nashvillep. 124
Enter the False Prophetp. 135
Glenn Beck and the New Populismp. 138
Meet the Truthers
Why They Believe: A Psychological Field Guide to Conspiracistsp. 149
The Midlife Crisis Casep. 151
The Failed Historianp. 159
The Damaged Survivorp. 170
The Cosmic Voyagerp. 179
The Clinical Conspiracistp. 183
The Crankp. 187
The Evangelical Doomsayerp. 196
The Firebrandp. 199
The Church of Conspiracismp. 205
Enter Satanp. 205
The Devil's Legacyp. 211
Lives of the Prophetsp. 215
The Cultic Milieup. 218
Accessories to Trutherdom
Democratizing Paranoia: How the Web Revolutionized Conspiracismp. 227
The Legacy of Flight 800p. 227
Muckraking 2.0p. 230
Through the Internet's Looking Glassp. 238
The Revolution Will Be Televisedp. 250
History Belongs to the YouTube Victorsp. 258
Tin-Foil Mortarboards: Conspiracism's Ivy League Enablersp. 261
Jacques Derrida's Hall of Mirrorsp. 261
Among the Antiracistsp. 273
Lessons from the Yale Law Journalp. 279
The Protocols Revisited: The New Face of Anti-Semitic Conspiracismp. 285
Showdown in the Boweryp. 285
Conspiracism's Hateful Sidekickp. 289
A New Home on the Leftp. 294
The 9/11 Effectp. 300
Jews Drift Rightp. 305
Confronting Conspiracismp. 309
A Pound of Curep. 309
An Ounce of Preventionp. 316
Indexp. 329
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