The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories

There’s something fun-but-not-too-fun about James McConnachie and Robin Tudge’s The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories, a lovely little coffee-table encyclopedia that investigates everything from the strange death of playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disputed Apollo 11 moon landings to the sinister happenings at Bohemian Grove to the 9/11 attacks. The book is dubious and skeptical in all the right places, yet never snotty or wholly dismissive of the marginalized ideas it presents. Also, none of the lurid tabloid earnestness that marks the work of lifers like Alex Jones or David Icke can be found here (Icke does get his own five paragraph section, however). For the most part, the 450 or so pages of Conspiracy Theories are evenhanded, concise, and well-researched. A bibliography follows each section, and at the end of the book there’s a “Conspiracy Archive” suggesting books, websites, and films for those who can’t get enough paranoia. Conspiracy Theory devotes a good number of pages to recent events like Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War, a choice that will perhaps date the book eventually–but of course, by that time we’ll need a new edition to record all the nefarious invisible acts committed by the Bilderberg Group, NWO, Masons, and, uh, reptilian beings posing as European royalty. Good stuff.

The updated U.S. edition of The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories is available this fall from Rough Guides.

3 thoughts on “The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories”

  1. Oh, conspiracy theories. (*sigh*)

    I recall an afternoon in Malibu with friends a year ago where we visited the bookshop at the Inn of the Seventh Ray. Among the stacks of “legit” tomes from Shambhala and other new age-ish publishers were several books by David Icke — reptilian overlords of the 4th dimension, Children of the Matrix, etc etc. I remarked to my friends that Icke “gives transformational spirituality a bad name.”

    Richard G who was part of the group immediately launched into a Bon Jovi-fied version of my statement. Sure, we laughed, but I still stand by that claim: Icke’s a delusional, con-artist wack job with a flair for the historic and histrionic. He pollutes the stream. I’m not a conspiracy theorist per se, but I did read Unger’s “House of Bush, House of Saud” which asked a lot of good questions. It’s frustrating to see Icke stuff shelved with Unger and the Disinformation series, considering that people who (rightly) dismiss Icke will (wrongly) dismiss these other books in close proximity. But hey, I guess that’s just business. I wonder what percentage of Icke’s readership sees him as freakshow entertainment vs prophet?

    Also: did Rough Guide send you a galley of this book? If yeah, congrats on the freebie. I hear the Amazon top 100 reviewers get their books for free, too.

    Also Also: George Clooney is adapting conspiracy bible The Men Who Stare At Goats for film. When will the madness end?

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  2. Hi,
    So which of David Ickes books have you actually read then out of interest?? I mean actually read so that you could reach your OWN opinion rather than the many who just listening to what the media have to say (they always seem to ridicule people are near accurate) or what other people may have interpreted or misinterpreted. Do you consider yourself an open minded person? I’ve read 2 books and watched freedom or fascism (Which I can highly recommend, all rational and logical information with times dates and facts presented in a concise fashion with overwhelming and compelling evidence… but that’s just my opinion) in either the books or the dvd have I ever heard him mention anything about the European monarch being reptiles!!!?????

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