Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History Audiobook, by David Aaronovitch Play Audiobook Sample

Download Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History Audiobook

Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History Audiobook, by David Aaronovitch Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: David Aaronovitch Narrator: James Langton Publisher: Tantor Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781400185924

Publisher Description

Our age is obsessed by the idea of conspiracy. We see it everywhere—from Pearl Harbor to 9/11, from the assassination of Kennedy to the death of Diana. In this age of terrorism we live in, the role of conspiracy is a serious one—one that can fuel radical or fringe elements to violence.

For award-winning journalist David Aaronovitch, there came a time when he started to see a pattern among these inflammatory theories. He found that these theories used similarly murky methods with which to insinuate their claims: they linked themselves to the supposed conspiracies of the past ("it happened then so it can happen now"); they carefully manipulated their evidence to hide its holes; and they relied on the authority of dubious academic sources. Most important, they elevated their believers to membership of an elite—a group of people able to see beyond lies to a higher reality. But why believe something that entails stretching the bounds of probability so far? Surely it is more likely that men did actually land on the moon in 1969 than that thousands of people were enlisted to fabricate an elaborate hoax.

In this entertaining and enlightening book—aimed at providing ammunition for those who have found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or the twin towers—Aaronovitch carefully probes and explodes a dozen of the major conspiracy theories. In doing so, he examines why people believe them and makes an argument for a true skepticism—one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.

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Quotes

  • “The book is an evenhanded, lively, and fascinating look not just at the people who believe these theories but also at the people who promote them: the evidence manipulators, the liars, the con artists, and the almost pathetically gullible and uninformed.”

    - Booklist (starred review)
  • This is fascinating stuff and absorbing reading that gives us a better understanding of why conspiracy theories are so popular and what the facts---in fact---indicate.

    - Library Journal

Customer Reviews

Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Good book, but i honestly was disappointed by the way the whole study was directed. I felt it was too scattered, going in too many directions without really going in depth... "

    - Carolyne, 2/16/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " This book contains a lot of interesting information, however it is marred by the author's tendency to go off on tangents. It is written from a British perspective and there are a few sections of minimal interest to American readers. "

    - Jim, 2/9/2014
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " A fair part of interesting bits and points but overall slightly repetitive and not exactly what I'd call a funny nor enthralling read. "

    - Gabriela, 2/8/2014
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Cured me of any fuzzy suspicions. "

    - Anton, 2/6/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Through examination of a number of conspiracy theories spanning the past century or so Aaronovitch is able to connect some threads together and give some insight into the reasons why folks believe the unbelievable. "

    - Bill, 2/3/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It was ok, just not really compelling to read. He also didn't explore a clear thesis of why conspiracy theories pop up so often. "

    - Lauren, 1/23/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Mostly a lot of backstory on why some conspiracy theories were created then a quick explanation on how unlikely those theories are. The most interesting thing I learned was that people reacted to Pearl Harbor in the same way they reacted to 9/11: people were convinced Roosevelt had prior intelligence it would be attacked and let it happen to convince the country to go to war. A lot of interesting stuff. "

    - Lana, 1/19/2014
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Aaronovitch is concise and convincing in Voodoo Histories. He provides a thorough debunking of popular conspiracy theories and interesting insights into what makes people believe them. "

    - Matt, 1/4/2014
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Good explanations of how conspiracy theories get formed, and some interesting factoids along the way. "

    - Bret, 12/19/2013
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Excellent read about the craziness and irrationality of our species. "

    - Robert, 11/16/2013
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Mostly interesting, but didn't make it til the end. Maybe I'll go back to it someday when my mood fits better. :) Might be a good book for discussion -- lots to talk about. "

    - Vicki, 11/14/2013
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " While I do not believe them, I do like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next paranoid nut. However, this book was so dry and dull that I just couldn't get into it and gave up after 70 pages. "

    - Jo, 3/5/2013
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Dissects and debunks a number of current conspiracy theories and provides an analysis of what attracts certain kinds of people to conspiracies as a world outlook. "

    - Linda, 11/11/2012
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Call me a snob if you will, but although this book had some interesting information, the flow of the book was jerky at best, and the tone was a touch overly academic. "

    - Shannon, 4/1/2012
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " God this book is boring. I don't give a flying about anything contained therein. "

    - Emilie, 2/6/2012
  • Overall Performance: 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Interesting premise, but I had only the vaguest knowledge of many of the subjects. I admit I skimmed great chunks of this one. Not for me. "

    - Sarah, 8/3/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I wanted more from this book than the book delivered. The back cover promised more than it delivered and I am a usually fascinated by the evolution of a crazy conspiracy theory. "

    - Jackie, 6/4/2011
  • Overall Performance: 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " I got about 100 pages in, and I just couldn't keep focused on it. I'll probably try again later. "

    - Stephanie, 5/12/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " It was ok, just not really compelling to read. He also didn't explore a clear thesis of why conspiracy theories pop up so often. "

    - Lauren, 3/28/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Aaronovitch is concise and convincing in Voodoo Histories. He provides a thorough debunking of popular conspiracy theories and interesting insights into what makes people believe them. "

    - Matt, 3/9/2011
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " Cured me of any fuzzy suspicions. "

    - Anton, 2/24/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A good romp through some conspiracy theories, explaining why they are based on weak evidence, and yet why people still believe them. A good source of responses for discussions with conspiracy nuts. "

    - thom, 2/16/2011
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Dissects and debunks a number of current conspiracy theories and provides an analysis of what attracts certain kinds of people to conspiracies as a world outlook. "

    - Linda, 12/12/2010
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Through examination of a number of conspiracy theories spanning the past century or so Aaronovitch is able to connect some threads together and give some insight into the reasons why folks believe the unbelievable. "

    - Bill, 10/29/2010

About the Author

David Aaronovitch is an internationally bestselling author and award-winning journalist who has worked in radio and television and for newspapers in the United Kingdom since the early 1980s. His first book, Paddling to Jerusalem, won the Madoc Award for Travel Literature in 2001. The recipient of the Orwell Prize for Political Journalism, he writes a regular column for the Times (London).

About the Narrator

James Langton, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, trained as an actor at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and later as a musician at the Guildhall School in London. He has worked in radio, film, and television, also appearing in theater in England and on Broadway. He is also a professional musician who led the internationally renowned Pasadena Roof Orchestra from 1996 to 2002.