That’s What They Want You to Think: Conspiracies Real, Possible, and Paranoid
“While possibly a bit dry for bedtime reading, That’s What They Want You to Think does make fun plane, train, and (if someone else is driving) automobile reading. It will also make a nice gift for the budding conspiracy theorist on your list.”
Did the government orchestrate John Lennon’s murder? Did FDR withhold information that could have prevented the tragedy of Pearl Harbor? What really can be found in Area 51? These conspiracies and many more are considered in Paul Simpson’s That’s What They Want You to Think: Conspiracies Real, Possible, and Paranoid.
This book is basically an encyclopedia of conspiracies. It gives a fairly objective overview of 29 conspiracies, both real and possibly imagined (as you can rarely really tell with a conspiracy). They are organized into five groups: assassinations (such as Abraham Lincoln and Princess Diana), military (such as Operation Valkyrie and Pearl Harbor), aliens (such as Roswell and the Bermuda Triangle), secret societies (such as the Freemasons and the Illuminati), and government (such as the moon landings and 9/11).
For each conspiracy, an overview of the event is given, as well as a summary of the more prominent conspiracy theories. If evidence supports or refutes a theory, that is covered, as well. In addition, sources of information are provided for readers who want to dig deeper into the issue.
For those conspiracies that have been used in or made into movies, there is a sidebar that discusses how accurate they are (or how much poetic license was used).
If you’re a diehard conspiracy theory follower, this book is probably going to be a little too light reading for you; however, if you’re curious about conspiracies, would like to get a grand overview of the most prominent ones or even are a writer who wants to add a little conspiracy flavor to your stories, this book is perfect. It gives you the basics: what history says happened, what conspiracy theories say really happened, and what evidence is currently available to support or refute both (or more) sides of the story.
The way the book is organized helps put the various events and their conspiracies into context. And, when conspiracies overlap (such as the assassinations of JFK and his brother Robert), the ties that connect them are mentioned, as well.
That’s What They Want You to Think is well illustrated with photographs and art that help put faces to the names, as well as locations to the events. Complex ideas are broken down into easy-to-understand terms. The writing style is simple and personable. It is clear that a lot of research went into this book and the information was digested and regurgitated in a way that pretty much anyone can understand.
While possibly a bit dry for bedtime reading, That’s What They Want You to Think does make fun plane, train, and (if someone else is driving) automobile reading. It will also make a nice gift for the budding conspiracy theorist on your list.