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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2005
I found this book in the 'Mind Body and Spirit' section, of one large bookstore, next to 'UFOs are here!' and 'The World is an Orange' - which is one hell of a misplacing, as this guide isn't for lunatics but is about them and their nuttier ideas - your Zen or Qi won't be replenished so much as you might be left politically incensed.
Tudge and McConnachie have amassed a wide range of theories, historically and geographically, and go into detail on everything from theories about aliens living in your anus and was the Titanic simply a big insurance job, to the genocidal impact of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and who really blew up Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. It's beyond the remit of the book to actually provide any concrete answers over some of the more famous theories, like who killed Kennedy (over 2,000 books on that subject anyway) and the death of Princess Di, but some of the alternative directions for 'truth' that the authors list do raise some startling questions. The Lockerbie bombing is a case in point, with the story of how the Libyans, who were eventually indited and jailed and a $2.4 billion fine being levied on the country, were the last to be suspected, with a Syrian-backed Palestinian group linked to taking western hostages in Beirut having been the chief suspects for the first two years after 1989. Somehow the CIA, drugs and millions in cash made their way onto the doomed aircraft, all tracing back to events in Beirut and an Iran-Contra type of guns-money-hostage trading scandal. But in 1991 Syria wisely backed the Gulf War - Libya opposed it. Nearly simaltaneously, the US and UK blamed Libya for the bombing, in the same week that their remaining Beirut hostages were released.
The rest, they say, is 'history'.
It's a by turn funny, fascinating and unsettling read which won't make you paranoid but might make you question a bit more.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on 13 October 2005
I bought this book as something I could dip into but found I couldn't put it down! It was full of conspiracy theories I'd never heard of as well as fascinating insights into the classics, like JFK and the Dead Sea scrolls. The authors seemed open-minded and realistic in equal measure - just the right balance. Established theories and crackpot conspiracies were all analysed with the same even-handed logic. Excellent stuff.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 2 September 2006
With wit and scepticism, but with thoroughness, the authors look at a huge amount of conspiracy theories ranging from who shot JFK to the faked moon landing, from a Masonic Jack the Ripper to the sinking of the Titanic. In all cases the authors present - without bias - what different people have believed to lie at the heart of these in some ways mysterious or unsolved cases and also comment the likelihood of the various theories being true.

Each entry has a list of the main books dealing with the topic plus short comment on their merits as well as a list of related websites.

The great thing about this book, and what makes it such a fresh read, is that it's not trying to sell you any theory, not even that there are no conspiracies. It presents the facts of the theories and then leaves it up to you to make up your own mind.

In its brevity it is a great book to dip in to, but in its thoroughness it is a fascinating read and a good place to start research. I'm not a conspiracy theorist myself, but the book is a brilliant read, not least because it also reveals what people are afraid of.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2009
This book is great to dip in and out of. It covers dozens of conspiracy theories from the death of tutankhamun to 9/11 conspiracy theories. One of the best books available on conspiracy theories.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2006
I have always been into conspiracy theories not because i believed in them but more because i was into who believed what, why did they believe and for how did this fit into the world around them. This book fufilled this and more. It is not for conspiracy theorists, it's about conspiracy theorists. What do they believe, why do they believe it and what effect has it had on the world? it includes the outlandish (David Icke), the genuine (Watergate) and the disturbing (Holocaust deniers). It makes no distinction between theories taking an even-handed approach to the subject matter. it presents it with a little bias as it can muster. It provides further reading, lists of people who write for and against these theories. I found it fascinating in the way that by viewing these theories you can see what scares people the most throughout the years be it women, Jews or the government. It's a dipping book you can pick it up and read about who believes the freemasons run the country and the next day you can learn the different takes on Diana's death. I think that anyone interested in society and how people see the world should buy this book to view the edges of society that normally get ignored. You might find something out about humanity that you didn't know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2010
...well my wife certainly does. It's all a big conspiracy and if only she'd watch the Matrix she'd understand why! A great after dinner conversation - beats politics or gossip...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2008
this is a great book, conspiracy theorys has always been something thats interested me and what i like about the book is it is not one sided... it is written objectionately and in most cases allows the reader to make up theyre own mind. also worth noting is the sheer amount of stuff covered in this book... from the jfk shootings, to 9/11, to fake moon landings, fake religions, mk- ultra its all here. this book will almost certainly make you question a little bit more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2009
...and even if you want to know more, there are plenty of further resources at the end of each chapter. Well written, without bias one way or the other. Most of the time the book leaves you to make your own mind up whether there's anything dodgy going or not after giving you the evidence.

There are some real crackers in here that I knew nothing about.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2006
Concise and to the point is how you would describe this book. It outlines most of the major conspiracy theories of modern times and as such should only be taken as an initial guide before delving deeper into many of the theories that take your fancy.

Many are of course plausible and many are just plain stupid, but I guess the book cannot really be judged on it's content. What the book is, is well planned, well edited and contains a handful of good sources for further reading, which will inevitably be followed up.

In my mind it's the best book I have come across on the subject of Conspiracies, so I would recommend it as a light and interesting read, but nothing much more.
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on 24 February 2012
...will be read by the young teenager I gave it to as a Christmas present.

I chose this for my youngest son's best friend because he's got that kind of enquiring mind and I sensed he'd be interested in these conspiracy theories (and smart enough to probably refute most of them). But he's not a book kid. I'm hoping this book will sit there for as long as it takes to one day catch his eye and hook him into reading.

It's a nice, square format stuffed with small print - the kind of book you could go back to time and again to find something new.
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