Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-2

Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia, Volumes 1-2

Peter Knight

Language: English

Pages: 943

ISBN: 2:00085933

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Conspiracy Theories in American History: An Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive, research-based, scholarly study of the pervasiveness of our deeply ingrained culture of conspiracy. From the Puritan witch trials to the Masons, from the Red Scare to Watergate, Whitewater, and the War on Terror, this encyclopedia covers conspiracy theories across the breadth of U.S. history, examining the individuals, organizations, and ideas behind them. Its over 300 alphabetical entries cover both the documented records of actual conspiracies and the cultural and political significance of specific conspiracy speculations.

Neither promoting nor dismissing any theory, the entries move beyond the usual biased rhetoric to provide a clear-sighted, dispassionate look at each conspiracy (real or imagined). Readers will come to understand the political and social contexts in which these theories arose, the mindsets and motivations of the people promoting them, the real impact of society's reactions to conspiracy fears, warranted or not, and the verdict (when verifiable) that history has passed on each case.

"The editors of this fine reference rightfully assert that 'conspiracy theories have played a vital role in shaping the course of American history.' … The first to cover the subject comprehensively, this work offers a dispassionate look at conspiracy theories, from the Boston Tea Party to September 11, 2001, placing each in the context of its time."
Library Journal

"This is a fascinating reference … an excellent addition to academic and large public libraries."
Booklist

"The encyclopedia admirably accomplishes its goals … Articles are generally engaging and first rate in their scholarship. … Unique in both format and content, this is a serious and worthwhile effort, and will surely become one of the more popular reference titles in many library collections."
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Rodham Clinton were accused by conspiracy theorists, most of them conservative Republicans, of a multitude of misdeeds including drugdealing, covering up a murderous attack in Waco, lying about their role in the Whitewater scandal, and of killing numerous troublesome witnesses. Conspiracy theorists’ eagerness to investigate the Clintons had several origins. In his acceptance speech to the 1992 Democratic National Convention, Clinton professed his admiration for Carroll Quigley, author of Tragedy

Midwest. By 1891, there were branches in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The APA had 70,000 members in twenty states 58 in 1893. Increased immigration and an economic panic led to additional growth so that by 1896, the organization’s peak year, it claimed 2.5 million members, spread across every state. Membership declined after the presidential election of 1896. Most of the members of the APA were Republicans and, thus, Republican candidates had

over the Illuminati conspiracy did not last long, it did serve as a precursor to the more pronounced outbreak of antiMasonry yet to come. The event that led directly to the creation of the Anti-Masonic Party was the abduction and apparent murder in 1826 of Captain William Morgan of Batavia, New York. Having announced his plans to publish a book that would expose the secrets of Freemasonry, Morgan was seized by parties unknown and taken to Fort Niagara. From there he disappeared forever, and the

Asian immigrants from purchasing or leasing land. Finally, in 1922, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Ozawa v. United States that first-generation Japanese immigrants were not eligible for citizenship, and in 1924 the Exclusion Act halted Japanese immigration altogether until 1965. By 1920 there were well over 100,000 Japanese immigrants on the U.S. mainland, facing antiJapanese feeling and discriminatory laws. With World War II came concentration camps, when Japanese Americans were

railed against “monopolies and exclusive privileges” (Remini, 16). Playing on popular sentiment against “moneyed men,” Jackson claimed that Clay, among others, had received BUS loans, while other Jackson supporters raised the canard used against the First Bank of the United States that control of the Bank was in the hands of “foreign” (largely British) investors. Cartoons portrayed Jack114 son as the champion of the common man battling a many-headed hydra of wealthy-looking men in top hats. The

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