How the Paranoid Style Flourishes and Where It Comes From
by Daniel Pipes
New York: Free Press, 1997
Was AIDS intentionally inflicted upon blacks by whites? Was JFK assassinated as part of an intricate conspiracy? Pipes traces conspiracy theories through history to show that "Conspiracism" - genuine and virulent belief in a conspiracy - dates back to the First Crusade and reached a peak in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, with the focus shifting from the Jews, groups such as Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, and back again.
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Critics on Conspiracy
"A solid sketch of a difficult and intriguing topic without indulging in sensationalism."
- Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1997
"It's a fine, important, even invaluable book."
- Christopher Buckley, The Washington Monthly, November 1997
"Daniel Pipes, the authority on Middle Eastern affairs and editor of Middle East Quarterly, has written in this brief but dense volume a highly useful primer on conspiracy theories...first-rate book."
- Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, November 9, 1997
"Stimulating new study...Pipes's is a valuable and much-needed book…there are only a few serious, systematic studies of the phenomenon by English-speaking authors who know what they're talking about...now there's Pipes as well...This is an impressive performance, going beyond historical narrative and attempting to get an interpretative handle on a subject very much in need of discussion and understanding. Pipes has certainly advanced that understanding, particularly in his reconsideration of the left's own conspiratorial reflex, something few of his predecessors have had much interest in doing."
- Charles Paul Freund, Reason, December 1997
"Incisive, exhaustive and extremely well written."
- Bizarre, July 1, 1998
"The author presents a fascinating account of conspiracy theories down through the ages."
- Francis Fukuyama, Foreign Affairs, March-April, 1998
"This is a provocative book that raises many questions. The author has done a great service in bringing together so much scattered material, and revealing its ominous importance in the modern world, as well as illustrating one of the more dangerous follies of popular thinking."
- Clive Foss, History Today, July 1, 1998
Other Language Editions
Vershwörung: Faszination und Macht des Geheimen
Munich: Gerling Akademie Verlag, 1998
Összeesküvések: A paranoia évezredes története
2007, Agave Könyvek Kft., 2007
Il Lato Oscuro della Storia
Turin: Lindau, 2005.
Potega Spisku: Wplyw Paranoicznego Myslenia na Dzieje Ludzkosci
Warsaw: BEJ Service spólka, 1998
Spiknuti: Názory a Teorie
Prague: Themis, 2003.