The Paranoid Style in American Politics

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307809681
Release Date: 2012-01-04
Genre: Political Science

This timely reissue of Richard Hofstadter's classic work on the fringe groups that influence American electoral politics offers an invaluable perspective on contemporary domestic affairs.In The Paranoid Style in American Politics, acclaimed historian Richard Hofstadter examines the competing forces in American political discourse and how fringe groups can influence — and derail — the larger agendas of a political party. He investigates the politics of the irrational, shedding light on how the behavior of individuals can seem out of proportion with actual political issues, and how such behavior impacts larger groups. With such other classic essays as “Free Silver and the Mind of 'Coin' Harvey” and “What Happened to the Antitrust Movement?, ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics remains both a seminal text of political history and a vital analysis of the ways in which political groups function in the United States. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307388445
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Philosophy

Imparting an invaluable perspective on contemporary domestic affairs, a classic work of political theory examines the competing forces in American political discourse and how fringe groups can influence--and derail--the larger agendas of a political party. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.

The United States of Paranoia

Author: Jesse Walker
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062383228
Release Date: 2014-10-14
Genre: Social Science

A history of America's demons 1693: Cotton Mather suggests that the spirits attacking Salem are allied with the colony's human enemies. At their "Cheef Witch-meetings," he writes, "there has been present some French canadians, and some Indian Sagamores, to concert the methods of ruining New England." 1835: A gunman tries to kill Andrew Jackson. The president accuses a senator of plotting the assassination. Jackson's critics counter that the shooting was arranged by the president himself to gain public support. 1868: An article in the New-York Tribune declares that the Democrats have engineered malaria outbreaks in the nation's capital, pumping "the air, and the water, and the whisky of Washington full of poison." 1967: President Lyndon Johnson asks his cabinet if the Communists are behind the country's urban riots. The attorney general tells him that the evidence isn't there, but Johnson isn't convinced. Conspiracy theories aren't just a feature of the fringe. They've been a potent force across the political spectrum, at the center as well as the extremes, from the colonial era to the present. In The United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker explores this rich history, arguing that conspiracy stories should be read not just as claims to be either believed or debunked but also as folklore. When a tale takes hold, it reveals something true about the anxieties and experiences of those who believe and repeat it, even if the story says nothing true about the objects of the theory itself. In a story that stretches from the seventeenth century to today, Walker lays out five conspiracy narratives that recur in American politics and popular culture. With intensive research and a deadpan sense of humor, The United States of Paranoia combines the rigor of real history with the punch of pulp fiction.

Anti Intellectualism in American Life

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307809674
Release Date: 2012-01-04
Genre: Social Science

Winner of the 1964 Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction. In this award-winning classic work of consensus history, Richard Hofstadter, author of The Age of Reform, examines the role of social movements in the perception of intellect in American life. "As Mr. Hofstadter unfolds the fascinating story, it is no crude battle of eggheads and fatheads. It is a rich, complex, shifting picture of the life of the mind in a society dominated by the ideal of practical success." --Robert Peel in the Christian Science Monitor

The Paranoid Style in American Politics An Essay

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780525433811
Release Date: 2016-10-04
Genre: Political Science

A Vintage Shorts Selection A timely reissue of acclaimed historian Richard Hofstadter’s authoritative and unforgettable essay. First published in 1964 and no less relevant half a century later, The Paranoid Style in American Politics scrutinizes the conditions that gave rise to the extreme right of the 1950s and the 1960s, and presages the ascendancy of the Tea Party movement and, now, Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Fringe groups can and do both influence and derail American politics, and Hofstadter remains indispensable reading for anyone who wants to understand why paranoia, a persistent psychic phenomenon with an outsize role in American public life, refuses to abate. An ebook short.

Conspiracy

Author: Daniel Pipes
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439124048
Release Date: 1999-05-01
Genre: Social Science

"A solid sketch of a difficult and intriguing topic without indulging in sensationalism" (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1997). Was AIDS intentionally inflicted upon blacks by whites? Was JFK assassinated as part of an intricate conspiracy? Pipes traces conspiracy theories through history to show that "Conspiracism"—genuine and virulent belief in a conspiracy—dates back to the First Crusade and reached a peak in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, with the focus shifting from the Jews, groups such as Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, and back again. —DanielPipes.org

Conspiracy Theories

Author: Mark Fenster
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 9780816632428
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Social Science

JFK, Karl Marx, the Pope, Aristotle Onassis, Queen Elizabeth II, Howard Hughes, Fox Mulder, Bill Clinton -- all have been linked to vastly complicated global (or even galactic) intrigues. In this enlightening tour of conspiracy theories, Mark Fenster guides readers through this shadowy world and analyzes its complex role in American culture and politics. Fenster argues that conspiracy theories are a form of popular political interpretation and contends that understanding how they circulate through mass culture helps us better understand our society as a whole. To that end, he discusses Richard Hofstadter's The Paranoid Style in American Politics, the militia movement, The X-Files, popular Christian apocalyptic thought, and such artifacts of suspicion as The Turner Diaries, the Illuminatus! trilogy, and the novels of Richard Condon. Fenster analyzes the "conspiracy community" of radio shows, magazine and book publishers, Internet resources, and role-playing games that promote these theories. In this world, the very denial of a conspiracy's existence becomes proof that it exists, and the truth is always "out there." He believes conspiracy theory has become a thrill for a bored subculture, one characterized by its members' reinterpretation of "accepted" history, their deep cynicism about contemporary politics, and their longing for a utopian future. Fenster's progressive critique of conspiracy theories both recognizes the secrecy and inequities of power in contemporary politics and economics and works toward effective political engagement. Probing conspiracy theory's tendencies toward scapegoating, racism, and fascism, as well as Hofstadter's centrist acceptance of a postwar American"consensus, " he advocates what conspiracy theory wants but cannot articulate: a more inclusive, engaging political culture.

The Farrakhan Phenomenon

Author: Robert S. Singh
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589014413
Release Date: 1997-07-01
Genre: Political Science

In this penetrating critical analysis of Louis Farrakhan's ascent to national influence, Robert Singh argues that the minister's rise to prominence is a function of race and reaction in contemporary America. Singh probes the origins and significance of Farrakhan in American politics. Drawing on published and unpublished records, personal interviews, and Farrakhan's writings and speeches, Singh places Farrakhan expressly within the "paranoid style" of such reactionaries as Jesse Helms and Joseph McCarthy. Examining Farrakhan's biographical details, religious beliefs, political strategies, and relative influence, Singh argues that Farrakhan is an extreme conservative who exploits both black-white divisions and conflicts within the black community for personal advancement. Singh proposes that Farrakhan's complex appeal to African-Americans is based on his ability to orchestrate the diffuse forces of African-American protest against the status quo. Paradoxically, says Singh, Farrakhan has achieved his position in part by positioning himself against most African-American political leaders, a tactic made possible by the extent to which black American politics now displays the same basic features as American politics in general. By stoking the fires of fear and hatred yet effecting no real changes, Farrakhan poses a greater threat to black Americans than to whites. The Farrakhan Phenomenon is written in a clear, accessible style that will appeal to general readers concerned about race relations as well as to scholars of American history and politics. It reveals a shrewd opportunist who has capitalized on America's continuing failure to deal with its serious and abiding race problems.

Suspicious Minds

Author: Rob Brotherton
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 9781472915641
Release Date: 2015-11-19
Genre: Psychology

'A first class book' Sunday Times We're all conspiracy theorists. Some of us just hide it better than others. Conspiracy theorists do not wear tin-foil hats (for the most part). They are not just a few kooks lurking on the paranoid fringes of society with bizarre ideas about shape-shifting reptilian aliens running society in secret. They walk among us. They are us. Everyone loves a good conspiracy. Yet conspiracy theories are not a recent invention. And they are not always a harmless curiosity. In Suspicious Minds, Rob Brotherton explores the history and consequences of conspiracism, and delves into the research that offers insights into why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and unproveable conspiracy theories. They resonate with some of our brain's built-in quirks and foibles, and tap into some of our deepest desires, fears, and assumptions about the world. The fascinating and often surprising psychology of conspiracy theories tells us a lot – not just why we are drawn to theories about sinister schemes, but about how our minds are wired and, indeed, why we believe anything at all. Conspiracy theories are not some psychological aberration – they're a predictable product of how brains work. This book will tell you why, and what it means. Of course, just because your brain's biased doesn't always mean you're wrong. Sometimes conspiracies are real. Sometimes, paranoia is prudent.

Social Darwinism in American Thought

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807055034
Release Date: 1944
Genre: History

Social Darwinism in American Thought portrays the overall influence of Darwin on American social theory and the notable battle waged among thinkers over the implications of evolutionary theory for social thought and political action. Theorists such as Herbert Spencer and William Graham Sumner adopted the idea of the struggle for existence as justification for the evils as well as the benefits of laissez-faire modern industrial society. Others such as William James and John Dewey argued that human planning was needed to direct social development and improve upon the natural order. Hofstadter's classic study of the ramifications of Darwinism is a major analysis of the social philosophies that animated intellectual movements of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era.

The American Political Tradition and the Men who Made it

Author: Richard Hofstadter
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679723158
Release Date: 1989
Genre: History

Biographical portraits of leading American statesmen from Thomas Jefferson to Franklin D. Roosevelt provide insight into the main currents of the nation's political heritage

Conspiracy Nation

Author: Peter Knight
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9780814747353
Release Date: 2002-02
Genre: History

Why are Americans today so fascinated by the X-Files? How did rumors emerge about the origins of the AIDS virus as a weapon of biowarfare? Why does the Kennedy assassination provoke heated debate nearly forty years after the fact, and what do we make of Hillary Clinton's accusation of a "vast right-wing conspiracy" against her husband? The origins of these ideas reveal important facets of American culture and politics. Placing conspiracy thinking at the center of American history, and challenging the knee-jerk dismissal of conspiratorial thought as deluded and sometimes dangerous, Conspiracy Nation provides a wide-ranging survey of conspiracy theories in contemporary America. In the 19th century, inflammatory rhetoric about slave revolts, the well-publicized specter of the black rapist, and the formation of the Ku Klux Klan all worked as conspiracy theories to legitimate an emerging sense of national consciousness based on an ideology of white supremacy. Today, panicked responses to increasing multiculturalism and globalization yield new notions of victimhood and new theories about conspiratorial plans for global domination. Offering up a provocative array of examples, ranging from alien abduction to the novels of DeLillo and Pynchon to Tupac Shakur's "paranoid style," Conspiracy Nation documents and unearths the workings of conspiracy in the contemporary moment. Their conclusions, sometimes startling and always compelling, have much to say about the nature of identity and anxiety, imagination and politics, and the state of the American psyche today. Contributors: Clare Birchall, Jack Bratich, Bridget Brown, Jodi Dean, Ingrid Walker Fields, Douglas Kellner, Peter Knight, Fran Mason, John A. McClure, Timothy Melley, Eithne Quinn, and Skip Willman.

Conspiracy Culture

Author: Dr Peter Knight
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135117238
Release Date: 2013-04-15
Genre: Social Science

Conspiracy theories are everywhere in post-war American culture. From postmodern novels to The X-Files and from gangsta rap to feminist polemic, there is a widespread suspicion that sinister forces are conspiring to take control of our national destiny, our minds, and even our bodies. Conspiracy explanations can no longer be dismissed as the paranoid delusions of far-right crackpots. Indeed, they have become a necessary response to a risky and increasingly globalized world, in which everything is connected but nothing adds up. Peter Knight provides an engaging and cogent analysis of the development of conspiracy culture, from 1960s' countercultural suspicions about the authorities to the 1990s, where a paranoid attitude is both routine and ironic. Conspiracy Culture analyses conspiracy narratives about familiar topics like the Kennedy assassination, alien abduction, body horror, AIDS, crack cocaine, the New World Order, as well as more unusual ones like the conspiracies of patriarchy and white supremacy. Conspiracy Culture shows how Americans have come to distrust not only the narratives of the authorities, but even the authority of narrative itself to explain What Is Really Going On. From the complexities of Thomas Pynchon's novels to the endless mysteries of The X-Files, Knight argues that contemporary conspiracy culture is marked by an infinite regress of suspicion. Trust no one, because we have met the enemy and it is us.

Modern Conspiracy

Author: Emma A. Jane
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9781623565893
Release Date: 2014-08-28
Genre: Philosophy

While conspiracy theory is often characterized in terms of the collapse of objectivity and Enlightenment reason, Modern Conspiracy traces the important role of conspiracy in the formation of the modern world: the scientific revolution, social contract theory, political sovereignty, religious paranoia and mass communication media. Rather than seeing the imminent death of Enlightenment reason and a regression to a new Dark Age in conspiratorial thinking, Modern Conspiracy suggests that many characteristic features of conspiracies tap very deeply into the history of the Enlightenment: its vociferous critique of established authorities and a conception of political sovereignty fuelled by fear of counter-plots, for example. Perhaps, ultimately, conspiracy theory affords us a renewed opportunity to reflect on our very relationship to the truth itself.