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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and witty, Aaronovitch takes on the conspiracy-delusion peddlers and is (mostly) on target
You can be reasonably confident in advance that a book will be worth reading if it has conspiracy theorists in rant-mode and foaming with indignation: a raw nerve has obviously been poked. Such a book is David Aaronovitch's `Voodoo Histories' which exposes the delusional ideological framework at the heart of conspiracy-theorist psychology.

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Published on 23 Oct 2011 by The Guardian

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a moderate recommendation
There is some interesting stuff here, but I do have reservations. It is hard to see what links Norman Baker's theory about the death of poor Dr Kelly with the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s - indeed, as others have said, it is hard to see the latter as in any way conspiracy theories of the kind we normally hear about. I'm sceptical about conspiracy theories simply...
Published on 25 May 2011 by Stephen


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable and intelligent counter to so much conspiracy idiocy, 11 April 2013
By 
Stafford Steve (Heart of England) - See all my reviews
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This exploration of a series of events around which conspiracy theorists have gathered over the years can probably best be summed up by the old adage, a version of Occam's Razor: hear hooves, think horses not zebras. Patiently the reader is taken through conspiracy theories large and small, exposing how often they seem to tell us more about those holding such views than the events they perport to explain. The language is moderate, the outlining of the conspiracies is moderate, and the findings are that from the assassination of Lincoln to the assassination of Kennedy and beyond the cock-up theory of history just makes more sense then its alternatives. Many theories are based upon details that just don't hold up (the size of the hole in the Pentagon was not so small only a missile not an aircraft could have made it), and most conspiracies require hundreds of people to keep their mouths shut when fame and fortune would await someone who could prove explosives had been built into the WTC so it could be later demolished. Personally I find the cock-up theory of history no less scary than the conspiracy version, just that it seems to involves horses rather than zebras as the hooves (albeit perhaps of the four horsemen) approach.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and sensible, a haven of good sense in a world of seeming maddness, 15 Sep 2010
This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
I have always loved Aaronovitich's journalism and this book is great too. Sometimes I feel despair at the sheer numbers of people who are prepared to believe the most incredible nonsense, written by the ignorant and the insane, so thank God for David. As the internet provides more and more opportunity for the insanity to be spread it is crucial that voices of reason are heard. Here is one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 7 July 2014
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K. Lewis - See all my reviews
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Highly entertaining, vividly written and powerfully argued. It's just a shame that Aaronovitch did not demolish even more outlandish theories. I could have read on and on...
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6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting but with bias!, 22 Aug 2011
This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
An interesting book. However the author supports NO possibility of any conspiracy, any form of corruption and seems as bias and at times as anecdotal as the books and people he criticises. It has taught me about histories and flows well. However is pedantic and sarcastic. This tone does eventually get wearing especially when he ois critical about these elements in other work. I would have rated 3 stars but the whole premiose is to dismiss everything and does come across as arrogant.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but should have been great., 16 Sep 2010
This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
Aaronovitch himself admits that he had to pull all the ideas together from a great confused mass. This is an important subject but the book is too confused and at times over-complicated. Basic thrust of the book is that history science etc... is difficult and often leads to unexciting conclusions CF Dawkins The God Delusion. Consequently, many prefer to believe in conspiracy theories as a short cut to understanding the World. Result = rise of NAZIs, psuedo-science and mumbo jumbo about free masons building pyramids with help from space men, not landing on the moon, 9/11 being a fake/CIA/Mossad/etc etc plot. You get the idea.
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25 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Easily fooled ?, 15 Jun 2011
In 2003 the political commentator David Aaronovitch wrote these words on the Iraq war and the search for the weapons of mass destruction supposedly held by the regime:

"If nothing is eventually found, I - as a supporter of the war - will never believe another thing that I am told by our government or that of the US ever again.

Is this the same David Aaronovitch ?

The irony of his scoffing is that, in the light of his own unrepentant taking to task of certain elements of those that questioned the need to go to war in Iraq, he ascribes paranoia to those who realised, from day one, that the government was lying to us.

This is the idea that eludes him and the book. 9/11 and 7/7 truthers are not privy to a hidden truth, but nor are they insane.

They are merely desperate to bring accountability to governments that they correctly perceive as revelling in an unpalatable art of deception.

The fact that Britain is entering a new low in distrust of parliamentary democracy underlines the reasons why conspiracy theories emerge.

Aaronovitch's book is nothing more than a perfect mirror for the methods they use. He is trying to brush his own acceptance of an official lie under the carpet by targeting those who don't.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well argued and thoughtful, 25 July 2010
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This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
This book is an excellent antidote to the drivel espoused by conspiracy theorists who despite the lack of evidence for their arguments continue to think they've found some dark plot, a plot so devious it undermines our very way of life, etc, etc. Aaronavitch's book is a very well argued, cogent and clear dissembling of the nonesense which is created by the conspiracy theorists out of conjecture, misunderstanding, lack of knowledge and at times vapour. For such people belief is enough even if their beliefs are cretinous and offensive.

I can recommend this book to anyone who likes to work things out, can be rational, and enjoys well written analysis. An excellent read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is astonishing! Does this guy possess any sense ..., 28 Aug 2014
This is astonishing! Does this guy possess any sense of irony? He doesn't believe in conspiracy theories but he believes people are conspiring to his book? He then conspires with people he knows to bump up the book. The stupidity here is breathtaking.
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18 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Voodoo Venacular, 25 July 2010
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This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
A perhaps inevitable backlash against the claimed explosion of so called 'conspiracy theories', which employs plenty of the same flawed logic and selective inclusions/exclusions that the book aims to debunk. Don't expect any psychological, philosophical or political insights in to the nature of belief, gullibility, or the idiosyncrasies of the reporting of history and facts. Nor is there a proper consideration of how mass perceptions are formed, often through controlled events such as 'false flag' events. A clear bias is prevalent in both the approach to the topic and the subtle rejection of all things smelling vaguely anti-Jewish. Objectivity is lacking. Much of the critical evidence is in many cases omitted or not addressed. The choice of topics to cover is highly selected and not always clear. While it is clear that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and McCarthyism had some role in the shape of 'modern history', it is unclear how the same was true for the deaths of David Kelly, Hilda Murrell or even Diana Windsor (all 'business as usual' types of events by the State and Monarchy if we look back over UK history). The web comes in for some heavy handed criticism, without any consideration of the positive impact of access to huge volumes of information, primary materials and interaction - 'the wisdom of crowds'. Like a good web 'conspiracy theory': full of bias, selectivity and contradictions. The book clearly establishes the reality of historical 'conspiracy', but dismisses any possibility that such things could possibly be going on today. Really? Disappointing unless you are stuck in an airport for 5 hours.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thou doth protest too much, 3 Jun 2011
By 
Blitzkrieg Bopper (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
One thing you'll never get around is the fact that people *want* to believe in conspiracies, to justify their own bias.
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Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History
Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History by David Aaronovitch (Paperback - 6 May 2010)
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