Calling All Conspiracy Theorists

Catching up on some long-overdue reading: If you’re working on a historical mystery and need some good psychological fodder for your characters, you might want to check out Max Holland’s list of the five best books ever written about conspiracy theories and the reasons they flourish. (See the Feb 2-3 edition of The Wall Street Journal, page W8).

Holland knows a thing or two about conspiracies. He wrote “The Kennedy Assassination Tapes,” published by Knopf in 2004.

He gives top marks to Richard Hofstadter’s “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which studied right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society in the 1960s, and Robert Alan Goldberg’s “Enemies Within,” a more modern review.

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