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Nathaniel Heidenheimer

Lance de Haven Smith's sociology of American "" Conspiracy Theories""

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It was the best of books, it was the worst of books.

That is my review so far. Jim DiEugenio mentioned this book on last nights Black Op Radio. It is, in some ways, a major breakthrough by an academic writer. But there are huge costs involved.

For now let me just say that the books major weakness is its failure to include the thorough, grounded historical account of the CIA manipulation of journalists-- a history which is now abundant and available, though perhaps not employable, for today's may- as- well-be-government journalists--as part of the book's broad,sociological investigation of how the term Conspiracy Theory took hold as a catchall term, with broad coattails and negative connotations. Other institutions, such as Academia do, to some extent get called on the mat or as much mat as Florida State, a great school in many ways, can afford.

There are also many excellent aspects of the book. This book deserves long discussion because it bares directly on our challenges in explicating the significance of the Coup of 1963.

The editor of this book, is Mark Crispin Miller, a writer of many good books , but also one who promotes the Waldron Hartmann books. http://www.amazon.co...g/dp/0292743793

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer

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Jim there are ,without question, some outstanding and unique (in the sense that they are published by an academic press who normally will not go into some of the dangerous waters [for academics] that this book features.) I would be praising it to the hilt all over FB. However there is some serious Trojan Horse in there that is like WTF, if you pardon the expression of a middle aged organism who has been in a room with adolescents and in an America with worse for far too long.

Keep reading, I think you will see what I mean.

I might change my mind, I am still mulling this one over. The question that keeps coming up is "How is is possible for a person who knows so much about variables a,b,c to be THAT wrong about e,f,g. Don't get me wrong, I would be suspicious of books that reinforced all of my footnoted prejudice. But the stunningly machiavellian nature of JUST HOW WRONG variables e and f are just have me in a neoliberal daze I guess. Wait, I have to go and write Michael Albert at Z magazine to find out what neoliberal means this week. (amazing how the masses are still not at the barricades, what with Noam, Amy and Uncle Albert after all these years!)

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