Conspiracy theory criticism

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Cover of "Foreign Conspiracy Against the Liberties of the United States" by Samuel F.B. Morse, 1835 edition.

A conspiracy theory is an explanatory or speculative hypothesis that suggests that two or more persons, a group, or an organization of having caused and/or covered up, through secret planning and deliberate action, an event or situation which is typically taken to be illegal or harmful.

Conspiracy theory criticism[edit]

A note on terminology: in this essay, "conspiracy theory" and "conspiracy culture" refer to thinking about actual conspiracies; "conspiracy theory criticism" refers to second-level thinking about conspiracy theory.

—Andrew Strombeck, Whose Conspiracy Theory?[1]

Reading list[edit]

  • Brotherton, Rob (2015), Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories, Bloomsbury, ISBN 1472915615 
  • Barkun, Michael (2013), A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, University of California Press, ISBN 0520276825 
  • Dean, Jodi (1998), Aliens in America : conspiracy cultures from outerspace to cyberspace, Cornell Univ. Press, ISBN 0801434637 
  • Fenster, Mark (1999), Conspiracy Theories : Secrecy and Power in American Culture, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 081663243X 
  • Knight, Peter (2000), Conspiracy culture : American paranoia from Kennedy to the X-files, Routledge, ISBN 0415189780 
  • Knight, Peter (editor) (2002), Conspiracy nation : the politics of paranoia in postwar America, New York University Press, ISBN 0814747361 
  • Melley, Timothy (2000), Empire of Conspiracy : the Culture of Paranoia in Postwar America, Cornell Univ. Press, ISBN 0801486068 
  • O'Donnell, Patrick (2000), Latent destinies : cultural paranoia and contemporary U.S. Narrative, Duke Univ. Press, ISBN 082232587X 

Book reviews[edit]

  • Review of Mark Fenster's Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture by Bart Beatty in Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol 24, No 4 (1999)