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Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture (Rev 08 Edition)by Mark Fenster
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
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There are two views, says Fenster (law, U. of Florida). One is that only wing-nuts of the most dangerous kind believe that society is controlled by a secret and omnipotent individual or group; the other is that conspiracy theory now dominates American political culture. He covers conspiracy as politics and as cultural practice, and conspiracy communities. The first edition was published in 1999, here he incorporates the one or two things have emerged in the conspirosphere since then. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
JFK, Karl Marx, the Pope, Aristotle Onassis, Howard Hughes, Fox Mulder, Bill Clinton, both George Bushes—all have been linked to vastly complicated global (or even galactic) intrigues. Two years after Mark Fenster first published Conspiracy Theories, the attacks of 9/11 stirred the imaginations of a new generation of believers. Before the black box from United 93 had even been found, there were theories put forth from the implausible to the offensive and outrageous.
In this new edition of the landmark work, and the first in-depth look at the conspiracy communities that formed to debunk the 9/11 Commission Report, Fenster shows that conspiracy theories play an important role in U.S. democracy. Examining how and why they circulate through mass culture, he contends, helps us better understand society as a whole. Ranging from The Da Vinci Code to the intellectual history of Richard Hofstadter, he argues that dismissing conspiracy theories as pathological or marginal flattens contemporary politics and culture because they are—contrary to popular portrayal—an intense articulation of populism and, at their essence, are strident calls for a better, more transparent government. Fenster has demonstrated once again that the people who claim someone’s after us are, at least, worth hearing.
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