Conspiracy Theories

The Secret Truth About Conspiracy Theories!

Political paranoia in America.


October 14 is the official release date for the expanded paperback edition of The United States of Paranoia, a history of American conspiracy theories by Reason's books editor, Jesse Walker. When the original hardcover version came out last year, Nick Gillespie interviewed Walker about his book for Reason TV.

Watch the video above. The original release date was August 16, 2013, and the original writeup is below:

"Political paranoia, and conspiracy theories in particular, have been a part of the United States since before there was a United States," explains Reason books editor Jesse Walker, author of the new book The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory. "Even when a conspiracy theory says absolutely nothing true about the object of the theory, if it catches on it says something true about the anxieties and the experiences of the people who believe it."

Rejecting the assumption that these beliefs are the purview of outsiders on the fringes of society, Walker details how even those at the very heart of American power—from John Quincy Adams' fear of Freemasons to LBJ's insistence that Communists were stoking race riots—have held these views.

ReasonTV's Nick Gillespie sat down with Walker to discuss his book, the deep history of conspiracy theories in America, and how he became fascinated with the topic.

Approx. 9:20 minutes.

Produced by Meredith Bragg. Shot by Todd Krainin and Amanda Winkler.

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  1. Extended paperback? So the poor bastards who paid for the hardcover got the shaft. That’s your conspiracy.

    1. No no no, they have a RARE FIRST EDITION.

      1. It’s only “rare” because you only sold “a few”.

        1. The ones without a remainder mark are even rarer than the review copies.

  2. the expanded paperback edition

    Why didn’t you just call it “the extended dance version”? That would be cooler.

    Do the kids these days still do “extended dance versions”?

    Why am I asking these questions? Would Judge Napster approve?

  3. Something I didn’t notice the 1st time they had this up: The shots of Nick Gillespie make it look like they’re meeting in an alley, which is perfect for the theme.

    1. It was all shot on a sound stage!

      1. BACK and to the left! BACK and to the left!

  4. When are they going to promote a different book?

    I’m getting all paranoid about this one. I think it might be a conspiracy to sell books!

  5. I’ve spent the morning reading Ebola conspiracy theories. FYI: white people don’t look good in them.

    My favorite is still that the US Government, always legalistic, has a patent for Ebola (from two years ago).…..-outbreak/

    The truth is out there:

    My gut feeling is that there are rich and powerful white men who may have something to do with this. If you do the research, most of the rich and powerful white men, main agenda is that the planet is over populated, and that is what’s causing climate change. Once you know what causes climate change it is no way you will come up with that conclusion. Many of the rich, powerful white men also believe in Eugenic, which was started in America I believe, and Hitler was in contact with one of the major players in America’s about Eugenic, prior to and during the Jewish holocaust.. Bill Gates father was a member of the eugenic society right here in America.

    1. So is Hillary.

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  7. I’m curious Jesse, in your book do you acknowledge that there have been real conspiracies that have harmed real people?

    Or is it just more of the same tired propaganda that is trying to make conspiracist into the new racist.

    1. I’m curious Jesse, in your book do you acknowledge that there have been real conspiracies that have harmed real people?

      Yes, of course. I’m pretty sure I mentioned that in the video, too.

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  9. my co-worker’s mother makes $71 /hr on the laptop . She has been unemployed for 9 months but last month her payment was $17334 just working on the laptop for a few hours. published here

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