Winner San Francisco Book Festival
New York Book Festival Honorable Mention
There probably exist thousands of conspiracy theories about hundreds of subjects, but a broad overview of them can be attained by grouping them into categories and explicating representative examples within each category—as has been done in this book. In the era of the Trump Presidency, conspiracy theories have become writ large in ways that we could not have imagined as recently as three years ago. Trump’s continual espousal of such theories, has pushed them into the mainstream.
Whereas conspiracy theories have always been part of American politics, they’ve tended to appeal only to fringe audiences, but they now seem to dominate the mainstream debate, and they have the potential to do considerable harm by creating feelings of hopelessness and alienation. It may be only a matter of time before paranoia becomes a national mental health crisis.
Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers’ Favorite –
Everybody Loves Conspiracy Theories by David Ritchey is practically an encyclopedia of conspiracy theories, grouped by classiﬁcation. Between the Eye of Providence and the Illuminati/New World Order theories are stories about aliens crash landing at Roswell, mind control, weapons conspiracy theories, 9/11, aviation and much, much more. The theories are grouped together into categories and most of them are presented ﬁrst with the factual account (or in the case of the JFK assassination, the “oﬃcial” account) and then are followed by the various alleged conspiracies. Ritchey points out that occasionally there is even a conspiracy theory that turns out to be true.
Everybody Loves Conspiracy Theories is a very timely book as the number of people believing in these theories has multiplied in recent years. David Ritchey astutely examines how President Trump uses conspiracy theories to serve his purposes. I found Ritchey’s factual explanations to be logical and even-handed. There are times, though, when he moves so smoothly from the facts to the conspiracy theory that I had to backtrack to ﬁgure out whether I was reading the factual or the ﬁctional explanation. My favorite part of Everybody Loves Conspiracy Theories was reading about all the purported UFO sightings. I was also surprised to ﬁnd stories such as some medical conspiracy theories in which I had absentmindedly believed the conspiracy rather than the facts. Everybody Loves Conspiracy Theories is pretty fascinating reading and a valuable contribution to a world where fake news is prevalent. Recommended for serious readers and anybody who just loves a good conspiracy theory.