Top critical review
13 people found this helpful
Overall a bit disappointing
on 17 January 2006
This contains hundreds of entries on a range of topics such as assassinations, key figures in conspiracy theory, military and religious conspiracies, secret societies, UFOs etc. The book's strengths are the breadth of its coverage and a decent index. For conspiracy buffs, it contains entries on most of the usual suspects but there are a number of significant failings with the format and structure of the book which make it an ultimately flawed collection.
Firstly, nearly all of the entries are frustratingly brief. Even the most significant supposed conspiracies are not given detailed enough coverage - the JFK assassination, for example, (THE touchstone conspiracy for most pundits) is covered sketchily in only one and a half pages.
Secondly, the structure leaves a lot to be desired. It is organised along broad thematic lines rather than the usual A to Z format one would expect from an encyclopedia. Within the sections, the entries are then organised chronologically which is not always user-friendly.
Thirdly, the quality of the entries varies significantly. Some are concise, pithy and well-balanced accounts of complex issues while others are extremely superficial at best and factually inaccurate at worst.
Finally, for anyone wanting to follow up on the conspiracies discussed, there are very few references and a limited bibliography. There are also no website listings which is an astonishing oversight given that much of contemporary conspiracy theorising takes place on the Internet.
There are some decent nuggets of information here but for a much more detailed analysis and far better information about references and further reading, I would recommend the Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories.