Friday, May 10, 2019

Five of the best books on conspiracy theories in America

Anna Merlan is the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

At LitHub she tagged five top books on conspiracy theories in America, including:
Occult America by Mitch Horowitz

Horowitz, an expert on esoteric belief systems and the ways they wend through American history, delves into the “secret mystic history of our nation,” as his subheading puts it. While it’s not a book about true conspiracy theories, it’s extraordinarily helpful for understanding them, by looking at the routes through which alternative or “fringe” ideas can reach the mainstream. Even better, he encourages us to consider that phenomenon from a sympathetic and humane perspective, rather than a sneering one. And that’s a good thing, too, because what we might consider fringe has had a large footprint in America for a very long time, from the homespun revivalist mysticism that grew out of the Burned Over District in the mid-1800s to the New Age movement that was born in the 1970s and is now a firmly established part of the culture.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 99 Test: Occult America.

--Marshal Zeringue