Synopses & Reviews
While excavating fossils in the tropics of Australia with a celebrity creationist, Will Storr asked himself a simple question. Why don't facts work? Why, that is, did the obviously intelligent man beside him sincerely believe in Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and a six-thousand-year-old Earth, in spite of the evidence against them?
It was the start of a journey that would lead Storr all over the world from Texas to Warsaw to the Outer Hebrides meeting an extraordinary cast of modern heretics whom he tries his best to understand. Storr tours Holocaust sites with famed denier David Irving and a band of neo-Nazis, experiences his own murder during past life regression” hypnosis, discusses the looming One World Government an iconic climate skeptic, and investigates the tragic life and death of a woman who believed her parents were high priests in a baby-eating cult.
Using a unique mix of highly personal memoir, investigative journalism, and the latest research from neuroscience and experimental psychology, Storr reveals how the stories we tell ourselves about the world invisibly shape our beliefs, and how the neurological hero maker” inside us all can so easily lead to self-deception, toxic partisanship and science denial.
We all know people who manage to compartmentalize amazingly dissonantbeliefs, something that, at first glance, would lead them to depths of cognitive dissonance. How does that work? Storr, a journalist andnovelist, tackles this problem with humor and chutzpah. From intelligent creationists, to Holocaust and climate change deniers, tomore outre cases of delusion and utterly counterfactual beliefs coexisting with sharp intelligence and--in many cases--a high degreeof education, he investigates people, the unpersuadables, through a series of direct interactions with them, interviews, dialogues,conversations. What seems funny at first glance reveals deeper tragedy and questions our whole reason to believe anything,undermining modes of thought and belief in the process. Entertaining, revealing, and at times quite disturbing, this is afascinating study of humanity on the fringes of rational thought and logic.Annotation ©2014 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)
“Storr can open chapters like a stage conjurer, and his prose has an easy, laconic style embracing Jon Ronson's taste for the fabulously weird and Louis Theroux's ability to put his subjects at ease. He is a funny and companionable guide...[who] confounds expectations.” Guardian
About the Author
Will Storr is a journalist who has dressed up as a woman to impress the transsexual leader of radical pro-suicide campaigners, trained in jungle warfare with the British army, and has been arrested and then deported under armed guard from Los Angeles. He is the author of Will Storr vs. The Supernatural and has written for many publications and won many awards.