Conspiracy Theory

conspiracy theory
a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event.

How did the term “conspiracy theory” enter our world?

DeHaven-Smith (The Hidden Teachings of Jesus) offers an intriguing take on the origins and implications of conspiracy theories and the paranoid mindset itself in this accessible academic study. The author, a professor of public administration and policy at Florida State University, provocatively argues that conspiracy theories, far from being merely the stuff of outlier fantasy, have played a major role in the formation of U.S. history… DeHaven-Smith shows that it was in the aftermath of the killing that the phrase “conspiracy theory” entered American parlance, a phenomenon he chalks up to government efforts to discredit skeptics of the Warren Commission’s findings (which scheme he dubs “the Conspiracy-Theory Conspiracy”).

Read more at Nonfiction Book Review: Conspiracy Theory in America by Lance deHaven-Smith. Univ. of Texas, $20 (204p) ISBN 978-0-292-74379-3.

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