Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-2
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Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive, research-based, scholarly study of the pervasiveness of our deeply ingrained culture of conspiracy. From the Puritan witch trials to the Masons, from the Red Scare to Watergate, Whitewater, and the War on Terror, this encyclopedia covers conspiracy theories across the breadth of U.S. history, examining the individuals, organizations, and ideas behind them. Its over 300 alphabetical entries cover both the documented records of actual conspiracies and the cultural and political significance of specific conspiracy speculations.
Neither promoting nor dismissing any theory, the entries move beyond the usual biased rhetoric to provide a clear-sighted, dispassionate look at each conspiracy (real or imagined). Readers will come to understand the political and social contexts in which these theories arose, the mindsets and motivations of the people promoting them, the real impact of society's reactions to conspiracy fears, warranted or not, and the verdict (when verifiable) that history has passed on each case.
"The editors of this fine reference rightfully assert that 'conspiracy theories have played a vital role in shaping the course of American history.' … The first to cover the subject comprehensively, this work offers a dispassionate look at conspiracy theories, from the Boston Tea Party to September 11, 2001, placing each in the context of its time."
"This is a fascinating reference … an excellent addition to academic and large public libraries."
"The encyclopedia admirably accomplishes its goals … Articles are generally engaging and first rate in their scholarship. … Unique in both format and content, this is a serious and worthwhile effort, and will surely become one of the more popular reference titles in many library collections."
American Reference Books Annual
Whittaker. 1953. Witness. London: Deutsch. ———. Ghosts on the Roof: Selected Essays. 1996. Edited by Terry Teachout. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing. Cooke, Alistair. 1950. A Generation on Trial: USA vs. Alger Hiss. New York: Knopf. Fiedler, Leslie. 1950. “Hiss, Chambers, and the Age of Innocence.” In An End to Innocence: Essays on Culture and Politics. Boston, MA: Beacon. Haynes, John Earl, and Harvey Klehr. 1999. Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. New Haven, CT: Yale University
experienced a spontaneous healing. Eddy had suffered from frequent mental and physical disorders throughout her first four decades. After undergoing treatment by Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a mesmerist and faith healer, Eddy began to find relief from her ailments. After Quimby’s death, in 1866, Eddy emerged as a teacher and healer. Eddy’s early attempts to gather a following were fraught with disappointment, but despite setbacks, the determined Eddy pushed on. In 1875 she published Science and
military communities were responsible for its creation. In addition, Douglass added the claim (which others subsequently picked up) that the World Health Organization (WHO) orchestrated HIV’s spread in Africa, while the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was responsible for its spread in the United States. He also asserted that AIDS could be contracted through casual contact (e.g., mosquitoes and saliva). Douglass’s work concludes with a call to boost law-and-order measures in the United States
most conspiracy-minded critics felt that colonial officials could at best be the pawns of much more powerful figures in England. The person most often identified as the source of the troubles for both the colonies and England was John Stuart, Earl of Bute, prime minister from 1762 to 1763, the former tutor of young George III, and the alleged lover of the dowager Princess Augusta. The conspiracy theory argued that Bute, even though he had to leave office in 1763 under public pressure, had used
conspicuousness of Jews called forth intensified European animosity toward them. The same process was at work in the United States, even though political emancipation had taken place much earlier. For the late-nineteenth-century rise of the Jews was patent in the United States as well, partially because of the arrival of great numbers of Eastern European Jewish immigrants and partially because of Jewish prominence in the new class of finance capitalists that emerged after the Civil War. The