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Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories in American History

ABC-CLIO. 2 vols. May 2019. 812p. ed. by ed. by Christopher R. Fee & Jeffrey B. Webb. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781440858109. $198; ebk. ISBN 9781440858116. REF
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Ever wondered if we really landed on the moon in 1969, if Franklin Roosevelt knew in advance about Pearl Harbor, or if the murders of Tupac and Biggie are connected? If so, this two-volume set, focusing primarily on events, people, and topics in the United States from the 1950s onward, edited by Fee (English, Gettysburg Coll., PA) and Webb (American history, Huntington Univ., IN), is a must-have. Thematic essays cover six broad subject areas (“business and financial,” “military and intelligence,” “political,” “popular culture,” “science and technology,” and “social”), followed by almost 200 alphabetically arranged entries with quotations, see-also references, and further reading. The list of entries, guide to related topics by theme, and detailed index make locating items quick and simple. Contributors detail the basics of general conspiracy theories and track examples through American history. The thoughtful, fact-filled, balanced writings will appeal to scholars and researchers. The short entries are ideal for browsing and providing information for student reports, while piquing the interest of general readers and avoiding the sensationalism that many of these topics could elicit.
VERDICT This informative compilation on fascinating conspiratorial topics that will continue to be debated for decades will be a solid addition for all libraries.

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