Enemies Within by Robert Alan Goldberg
The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America

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There is a hunger for conspiracy news in America. Hundreds of Internet websites, magazines, newsletters, even entire publishing houses, disseminate information on invisible enemies and their secret activities, subversions, and coverups. Those who suspect conspiracies behind events in the news--the crash of TWA Flight 800, the death of Marilyn Monroe--join generations of Americans, from the colonial period to the present day, who have entertained visions of vast plots. In this enthralling book Robert Goldberg focuses on five major conspiracy theories of the past half-century, examining how they became widely popular in the United States and why they have remained so. In the post–World War II decades conspiracy theories have become more numerous, more commonly believed, and more deeply embedded in our culture, Goldberg contends. He investigates conspiracy theories regarding the Roswell UFO incident, the Communist threat, the rise of the Antichrist, the assassination of President John Kennedy, and the Jewish plot against black America, in each case taking historical, social, and political environments into account. Conspiracy theories are not merely the products of a lunatic fringe, the author shows. Rather, paranoid rhetoric and thinking are disturbingly central in America today. With media validation and dissemination of conspiracy ideas, and federal government behavior that damages public confidence and faith, the ground is fertile for conspiracy thinking.

About Robert Alan Goldberg

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Robert Alan Goldberg is professor of history at the University of Utah.
Published November 1, 2001 by Yale University Press. 369 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, War. Non-fiction

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In addition, Goldberg gives implausible and unexplained weight to the popular media, especially The X-Files, blithely asserting that years of watching Agents Mulder and Scully have so acclimated Americans to conspiracy theories that they increasingly apply similar logic to the “real” world.

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Against the backdrop of conspiracy theories from the Salem witch hunts to the fears that led to the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII, Goldberg launches in-depth examinations of five major areas of contemporary conspiracy theory—the rise of the Antichrist, the threat of communism, Loui...

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