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School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up
Southwell and Twist put forth an astounding array of conspiracy theories in these four volumes. Some are widely known, dealing with the assassination of JFK, suspicions about Watergate, the death of Princess Di, the Freemasons taking over the world, and the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. Others are more bizarre. Unsolved Political Mysteries puts forth the theory that George Bush Senior may have been involved in Watergate, the Bay of Pigs, the assassination of JFK, and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, and that Hillary Clinton is the front woman for a fascist feminist lesbian group known as "The Sisterhood." The authors take a glib tone throughout (for example, on discussing Chandra Levy they write, "Give it up, boys! Washington, D.C. is convoluted and murky enough without having to invent new twists and turns through the cesspool") and while they don't take sides, they frequently fail to explain exactly how bizarre some of the conspiracy theories are. Unfortunately, there is no documentation of any kind. Some resources for further reading are listed, as well as a link to a list of Web sites maintained by the publisher, but nowhere does it state where the authors acquired their information. The authors also fail to include an introduction or conclusion that could have placed these conspiracies in some sort of context. The topics will no doubt appeal to some young adults, but their needs will be just as well served by using the Internet for information on conspiracy theories.
—Marcia KochelCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.