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Debunked!: Conspiracy Theories, Urban Legends, and Evil Plots of the 21st Century Hardcover – 10 Sep 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; 1 edition (10 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527074
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 983,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"A very entertaining book."

"A very entertaining book.""

"Along with pointing out why much-loved legends are asinine, Roeper isn't above going for laughs (and getting most of them)." Booklist"

"[Roeper's] hyped up on information and lays it all out there in easy-to-follow logic." Chicago Sun-Times"

"Roeper injects lots of humor and fun into his dissections and isn't afraid to get on his soapbox." Pop Syndicate


About the Author

Richard Roeper is a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the co-host of Ebert & Roeper. He is the author of Sox and the City, Schlock Value, Ten Sure Signs a Movie Character Is Doomed, Urban Legends, and Hollywood Urban Legends.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Roeper's "Debunked" is a witty, no-holds barred look at a few of the sacred cows of conspiracy theorists and believers in urban legends. Happily, he's an equal opportunity critic, skewering the icons of the American left (Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah Winfrey) with as much verve as the idols of the right (Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter). I'm delighted by his "fair and balanced treatment" of assorted conspiracy theories, urban legends and evil plots (just like on Fox "News"!). All in all, it's a pretty brave book: Roeper could have just as easily called it "Please Send Me Sackloads of Vitriolic Hate Mail," because that's what he's probably going to get.

Too bad, because "Debunked" does a nice job of explaining why 9-11 was caused by terrorists and not the US government, why casinos don't cheat (your odds of winning are so low that they don't need to), why there's no good reason to think that Princess Di or JFK, Jr were murdered, why "The Secret" is hokum, and why there is no vast left-wing conspiracy in the United States. (On the last point, my own guess is that the left wing conspirators were murdered in a vast right-wing conspirancy organized by Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and Elvis, but Roeper doesn't really mention that theory, probably because he's part of the conspiracy).

Speaking of extreme American right wingers like O'Reilly and Coulter, I've always wondered why their evident love for conspiracy theories doesn't extend to traditional conservative institutions. I mean, who's to say, for instance, that America's National Rifle Association isn't a front organization for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, or that the BATF hasn't by nefarious means secured access to the NRA's computerized mailing lists?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 3.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Maybe a little too light 26 Feb. 2015
By Jeff Simmons - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Light easy reading, but a bit superficial. Doesn't quite hit the sweet spot between too light and too much info. Too many arguments boiled down to "c'mon, really?" Still, fun to re-visit the creative conspiracy theories.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good, quick, and enjoyable read 11 Dec. 2012
By History Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is more witty than analytical, but its a good, quick read that points out that just about every conspiracy theory is riddled with problems and errors. If you want a more analytical look at the place of conspiracy theories in contemporary American Life, I suggest Jonathan Kay's Among the Truthers.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable! 26 Aug. 2014
By Julie Distel - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Absolutely delightful book! Sorry it ended. His opinions, wording, use of imagery, stories - all made the reading witty and well done!
5.0 out of 5 stars great book 30 Oct. 2012
By A. Sloan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this when i used to read roeper every day (i find his columns lacking ever since he decided to take on 3+ jobs at once) and it is his writing at its best. so many great arguments, makes you wonder about people sometimes
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun read 22 July 2008
By H. Gracia - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a fun informative read. It makes you shake your head to think that so many people buy into the strangest theories about how something happened rather than going to the most practical and common place. I guess people don't want simple and common place. My only complaint about the book was that some of the theories got a lot of explanation...almost too much. I was surprised to find several urban legends and conspiracy theories that I had never heard of. I guess those believers would say I had my head in the sand. Recommended.
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