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The Little Book of Conspiracies: 50 Reasons to Be Paranoid    by Joel Levy order for
Little Book of Conspiracies
by Joel Levy
Order:  USA  Can
Thunders Mouth Press, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Belle Dessler

From the chilling to the downright bloodcurdling, conspiracy theories take center stage in The Little Book of Conspiracies. Although the book comes in at only 144 pages, it's packed cover-to-cover with fifty of the most compelling theories. Whether or not you believe that there is a conspiracy behind the devastating events of 9/11, Princess Diana's death, or the search for a cure for cancer, the well-developed explanations found in this book will make you wonder whether you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about everything from political assassinations to alien cover-ups.

The book is divided into four chapters. 'It Could Be Happening To You' takes a look at the hidden dangers that could be affecting you right now. Is aspartame, 'the artificial sweetener more commonly known as NutraSweet,' slowly poisoning you? Is the AIDS epidemic a man-made disease? In chapter two, the author discusses a variety of 'Political Conspiracies and Colossal Cover-ups'. Should you be concerned about the connection between the Bush family and the rulers of Saudi Arabia? Or perhaps you've always suspected there was something more sinister behind the 'colossal financial mismanagement' of Enron. Whatever your feelings about these issues, this chapter allows you to take an in-depth look at what some theorists suspect really happened.

In chapter three, Levy tells us that 'No One Is Safe'. This section of the book deals with political assassinations and faked deaths, such as the possible assassination of Martin Luther King not 'by a lone assassin but by a CIA/Mafia conspiracy'. And what about Marilyn Monroe? Did she really commit suicide? Or was she 'murdered to protect or possibly blackmail the Kennedy brothers?' The last chapter looks at 'Sci-fi Conspiracies'. These theories dealing with aliens, lies and mind control have captured the imagination of the public for years. Did we really land on the moon in July 21, 1969, or was that just a publicity stunt orchestrated by NASA? And will we ever know what happened at Roswell?

Perhaps my favorite aspect of The Little Book of Conspiracies is that Levy doesn't try to convince us that a conspiracy lies beneath each of the events presented. Instead, he delivers hard facts and scientific data, then allows us a look at what the theorists are saying versus the statements of officials in charge of these investigations. In the end, we're invited to make up our own minds about what did or didn't happen. However, Levy does provide a paranoia meter of sorts. At the end of each conspiracy theory is a handy percentage that lets you know just how paranoid you should be. The conspiracy theory behind the Titanic mix-up, for example, holds absolutely no water in Levy's opinion. A 0% conspiracy rating bills this one as 'a good yarn', and nothing more.

Overall, The Little Book of Conspiracies offers a fun look into events that will likely always fascinate the public. It makes a great gift for theorists and debunkers alike.

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