7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
a moderate recommendation,
This review is from: Voodoo Histories: How Conspiracy Theory Has Shaped Modern History (Paperback)
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 because in real life things go wrong, whereas most of the theories seem to rely on perfect accomplishment (the Holy Grail nonsense being a classic of this kind). The author has a nice phrase somewhere about 'the untidiness of reality'. But at times he seems to be straining at a gnat, and once he starts theorising the book becomes too ponderous for its own good. Indeed some of his targets are really not worth the trouble.
Still, I did enjoy some chapters (e.g. the one about the death of Hilda Murrell, drily told) and so a moderate recommendation is fair.
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Initial post: 16 Oct 2013 15:23:56 BDT
Franz Bieberkopf says:
Agree with most of your review. What annoyed me about Aaronovich was his dismissal of any conspiracy. Yes, I agree that there was (almost certainly) no conspiracy to kill JFK or Princess Diana, but there really was a CIA conspiracy to kill Fidel and Raul Castro and Che Guevara. The British tried to murder Nasser and the Cypriot nationalist Grivas in the 1950s. No doubt those more versed in history can point out other conspiracies that really happened.
Aaronovich is most reluctant to take on board real-life conspiracies.
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