A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion & Society 15 2nd Revised edition)

A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America (Comparative Studies in Religion & Society 15 2nd Revised edition)

By: Michael Barkun (author)Paperback

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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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About Author

Michael Barkun, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, is author of Religion and the Racist Right: The Origins of the Christian Identity Movement (revised edition 1997) and Disaster and the Millennium (1986), among other books.


Preface Preface to the First Edition 1. The Nature of Conspiracy Belief 2. Millennialism, Conspiracy, and Stigmatized Knowledge 3. New World Order Conspiracies I: The New World Order and the Illuminati 4. New World Order Conspiracies II: A World of Black Helicopters 5. UFO Conspiracy Theories, 1975--1990 6. UFOs Meet the New World Order: Jim Keith and David Icke 7. Armageddon Below 8. UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats I: Anti-Catholicism and Anti-Masonry 9. UFOs and the Search for Scapegoats II: Anti-Semitism among the Aliens 10. September 11 Conspiracies: The First Phase 11. September 11 Conspiracies: The Second Phase 12. Conspiracy Theories about Barack Obama 13. Conspiracists and Violence 14. Apocalyptic Expectations about the Year 2012 15. Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 27/08/2013
  • ISBN13: 9780520276826
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 320
  • ID: 9780520276826
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 0520276825
  • edition: 2nd Revised edition

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