Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11

Paperback | April 11, 2011

byKathryn S. Olmsted

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Many Americans believe that their own government is guilty of shocking crimes. Government agents shot the president. They faked the moon landing. They stood by and allowed the murders of 2,400 servicemen in Hawaii. Although paranoia has been a feature of the American scene since the birth ofthe Republic, in Real Enemies Kathryn Olmsted shows that it was only in the twentieth century that strange and unlikely conspiracy theories became central to American politics. In particular, she posits World War I as a critical turning point and shows that as the federal bureaucracy expanded,Americans grew more fearful of the government itself - the military, the intelligence community, and even the President. Analyzing the wide-spread suspicions surrounding such events as Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, Watergate, and 9/11, Olmsted sheds light on why so many Americans believe thattheir government conspires against them, why more people believe these theories over time, and how real conspiracies - such as the infamous Northwoods plan - have fueled our paranoia about the governments we ourselves elect.

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Many Americans believe that their own government is guilty of shocking crimes. Government agents shot the president. They faked the moon landing. They stood by and allowed the murders of 2,400 servicemen in Hawaii. Although paranoia has been a feature of the American scene since the birth ofthe Republic, in Real Enemies Kathryn Olmste...

Kathryn S. Olmsted is a professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She has written two previous books on secrecy in the U.S. government.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:April 11, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199753954

ISBN - 13:9780199753956

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Consent of the People2. Lying Us into War3. Masters of Deceit4. The Dealey Plaza Irregulars5. White House of Horrors6. Trust No One7. Cabal of Soccer MomsBibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Once in a while, a talented historian writes a book about a neglected topic that millions of Americans think about all the time. Real Enemies is one of those rare and indispensable studies. With grace and impeccable judgment, Kathryn Olmsted illuminates one of the darker regions of thenation's political history. Richard Hofstadter would be pleased." --Michael Kazin, author of A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan