‘Timely and troubling’ Evening Standard
‘A necessary book’ David Aaronovitch
‘Frequently jaw-dropping’ Huffington Post
From UFOs to the New World Order, the inside story of how conspiracy theories won over America.
In November 2017, a serial climate change denier and anti-vaxxer was elected President of the United States. The rise of Donald Trump marked the beginning of a new American epoch: the age of the conspiracy theorist.
Now, Anna Merlan goes undercover in America’s sprawling network of conspiracy theorists and uncovers their secrets. She meets the UFOlogist who claims to have travelled to Mars with a young Barack Obama. She chats with the ‘pizzagate’ truthers who think Washington D.C.’s favourite pizzeria is run by a satanic paedophile ring. And she bumps into Alex Jones, the YouTube impresario who thinks the state is using chemical warfare to turn the population gay – and who happens to be on first-name terms with the leader of the free world.
Merlan reveals a world of innuendo and propaganda lying just beneath the surface of US culture. It might just help explain the political turmoil of our time.
‘Through exhaustive research, personal interviews, and a critical yet at times appropriately empathetic approach, writer Anna Merlan has written a captivating book that illuminates the landscape of conspiracy theories.’ New York Magazine
‘An entertaining taxonomy of toxic ideas’ Herald
‘A rock-steady narrator with a ready command of history, nerves of steel, and incisive social insights . . . We need a thousand of her, or a million.’ The Nation