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"Life became a series of odd events." That's how one of the inmates of Jim Jones' Jonestown, Guyana community described the group's descent into madness and mass suicide. Begun in 1974 as a utopia and sanctuary, the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project quickly evolved into a brutal work camp dictatorship ruled by indoctrination, torture, and rape. Eventually, on November 18th, 1978, the settlement extinguished itself, annulling 918 lives, thus almost fulfilling a prophecy ("I'll take a thousand with me") by its megalomaniacal leader, self-anointed Pastor Jim Jones. Julia Schneeres' A Thousand Lives reconstructs Jonestown through the experiences of the idealistic, troubled, and impoverished men and women who went to a remote forest in South America hoping for a paradise on earth. A well-researched book that reveals human stories behind a senseless tragedy.