Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent
American Conspiracy Theories
University Press 2014
“Conspiracy theories are neither the vile excrescence of puny minds nor the telltale symptom of a sick society. They are the ineradicable stuff of politics.”That’s a quotation from American Conspiracy Theories (Oxford UP, 2014), by Joseph E. Uscinski and Joseph M. Parent, two professors of political science at the University of Miami.Their study of conspiracy theories concludes that nearly all Americans hold conspiracy beliefs and that “conspiracy theories bring to the surface people’s deepest political anxieties.”The book studies American conspiracy theories over 120 years from 1890 to 2010. It analyzes well-known conspiracy theories such as the many about the assassination of JFK and the events of 9/11 to more obscure ones such as the Congressional plot to kill pet dogs. In this interview with the New Books Network, co-author Joseph Uscinski suggests American conspiracy theories can teach us a lot about everyday politics.