Fear of Conspiracy: Images of Un-American Subversion from the Revolution to the Present

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First published by Cornell in 1971, The Fear of Conspiracy brings together eighty-five speeches, documents, and writings—the authors of which range from George Washington to Stokely Carmichael—that illustrate the role played in American history by the fear of conspiracy and subversion. This book, documenting two centuries of conspiracy-mongering (1763-1966), highlights the American tendency to search for subversive enemies and to construct terrifying dangers from fragmentary and highly circumstantial evidence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Davis covers such deviations as pro- and anti-slavery factions, anti-Catholic groups up to the Liberty League, Communist and McCarthyite organizations, and anti-Warren Commission writings. Davis provides an introductory essay to each section and generally elucidates the importance of conspiratorial thinking in American history."—New York Times

"Among these wild fantastic irrationalities and sober intellectual statements, one must keep context and chronology clear or there is danger of reigniting the flames of old worries and exploding ancient prejudices again. But Davis has supplied judicious commentary and adequate documentation of sources."—Library Journal

"Davis offers selections from some heroes as well as from the historical villains. . . . Davis believes that acceptance of 'paranoid' notions 'leads inevitably to overreaction.'"—The Nation

"Although Davis identifies six conspiratorial themes that run the gamut of American history, two ideas make a most impressive impact: the threat of a foreign conspiracy, and the challenge to the established order."—Baltimore Evening Sun

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801491139
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2008
  • Series: Cornell Paperbacks Series
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.94 (d)

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