Voodoo Histories

Voodoo Histories

The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101185216
  • 416 Pages
  • Riverhead Books
  • Adult


An absorbing, probing look at the conspiracy theories that operate on the sidelines of history and the reasons they continue to play such a seditious role, from an award-winning journalist.

Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere- from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one, one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence.

For David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories. these theories used similarly murky methods with which to insinu­ate their claims: they linked themselves to the supposed conspiracies of the past (it happened then so it can happen now); they carefully manipulated their evidence to hide its holes; they relied on the authority of dubious aca­demic sources. Most important, they elevated their believers to membership of an elite- a group of people able to see beyond lies to a higher reality. But why believe something that entails stretching the bounds of probabil­ity so far? Surely it is more likely that men did actually land on the moon in 1969 than that thousands of people were enlisted to fabricate an elaborate hoax.

In this entertaining and enlightening book -aimed at providing ammunition for those who have found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or the twin towers-Aaronovitch carefully probes and explodes a dozen of the major conspiracy theories. In doing so, he examines why people believe them, and makes an argument for a true skepticism: one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.


"Terrifying, hilarious, irreverent and addictively compelling, Voodoo Histories is an instant classic that should be read by everyone—a brilliant, witty and devastating analysis of, and guide to, the big lies of modern history by our most brilliant commentator" – Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin and Stalin: The Court Of The Red Tsar"A brilliant, sparkling and witty demolition of numerous conspiracy theories—not only dotty but sometimes, as in the case of the fabricated Protocols of the Elders of Zion—highly dangerous and an analysis of why otherwise intelligent people are so ready to believe in them" – Ian Kershaw, author of Hitler
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