Culture of Conspiracy Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America

ISBN-10: 0520276825

ISBN-13: 9780520276826

Edition: 2nd 2013

Authors: Michael Barkun
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Description: American society has changed dramatically since A Culture of Conspiracy was first published in 2001. In this revised and expanded edition, Michael Barkun delves deeper into America's conspiracy sub-culture, exploring the rise of 9/11 conspiracy theories, the "birther" controversy surrounding Barack Obama's American citizenship, and how the conspiracy landscape has changed with the rise of the Internet and other new media.What do UFO believers, Christian millennialists, and right-wing conspiracy theorists have in common? According to Michael Barkun in this fascinating yet disturbing book, quite a lot. It is well known that some Americans are obsessed with conspiracies. The Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 2001 terrorist attacks have all generated elaborate stories of hidden plots. What is far less known is the extent to which conspiracist worldviews have recently become linked in strange and unpredictable ways with other "fringe" notions such as a belief in UFOs, Nostradamus, and the Illuminati. Unraveling the extraordinary genealogies and permutations of these increasingly widespread ideas, Barkun shows how this web of urban legends has spread among subcultures on the Internet and through mass media, how a new style of conspiracy thinking has recently arisen, and how this phenomenon relates to larger changes in American culture. This book, written by a leading expert on the subject, is the most comprehensive and authoritative examination of contemporary American conspiracism to date.Barkun discusses a range of material-involving inner-earth caves, government black helicopters, alien abductions, secret New World Order cabals, and much more-that few realize exists in our culture. Looking closely at the manifestations of these ideas in a wide range of literature and source material from religious and political literature, to New Age and UFO publications, to popular culture phenomena such as The X-Files, and to websites, radio programs, and more, Barkun finds that America is in the throes of an unrivaled period of millenarian activity. His book underscores the importance of understanding why this phenomenon is now spreading into more mainstream segments of American culture.

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Book details

Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 8/15/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 317
Size: 6.18" wide x 8.90" long x 0.83" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Michael Barkun is professor emeritus of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and is a former FBI consultant in domestic terrorism cases. He is author of five previous books, including Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement.

Preface
Preface to the First Edition
The Nature of Conspiracy Belief
Millennialism, Conspiracy, and Stigmatized Knowledge
New World Order Conspiracies I: The New World Order and the Illuminati
New World Order Conspiracies II: A World of Black Helicopters
UFO Conspiracy Theories, 1975-1990
UFOs Meet the New World Order: Jim Keith and David Icke
Armageddon Below
UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I: Anti-Catholicism and Anti-Masonry
UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats II: Anti-Semitism among the Aliens
September 11 Conspiracies: The First Phase
September 11 Conspiracies: The Second Phase
Conspiracy Theories about Barack Obama
Conspiracists and Violence
Apocalyptic Expectations about the Year 2012
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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