Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple

Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple

by Rebecca Moore

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Overview

This in-depth investigation of Peoples Temple and its tragic end at Jonestown corrects sensationalized misunderstandings of the group and places its individual members within the broader context of religion in America.

• Demonstrates meticulous research by the author, a scholar who has a personal connection to the subject

• Provides a comprehensive and balanced view of the entire history of Peoples Temple, with insight from families and the members themselves

• Includes a new preface that updates our understanding of events on the 40th anniversary of Jonestown

• Shows how Peoples Temple fits into the broader history of black religion in America

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440864803
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 07/06/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 179
File size: 475 KB

About the Author

Rebecca Moore is professor emerita of religious studies at San Diego State University. She is reviews editor of Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Acknowledgements

Authors Note

Introduction

Chapter 1. Beyond White Trash

Chapter 2. California Dreamin

Chapter 3. The Promised Land

Chapter 4. Fighting Monsters

Chapter 5. The Abyss

Chapter 6. Preserving the Ultimate Concern

Chapter 7. Dehumanizing the Dead

Chapter 8. Jonestown Re-Enters American Culture

Chapter 9. Making Meaning After Jonestown

Resources

Index

What People are Saying About This

Jeff Guinn

"No one understands better, or explains more completely, the complexities of Jonestown and Peoples Temple than Rebecca Moore. This book is one reason why I consider her to be the best source and author on these subjects."

Tanya HollisArchivist/Manuscripts Librarian

"Rebecca Moore's thoughtful, balanced book makes a significant contribution to recent scholarship aimed at redressing the sensationalism of many previous accounts of Peoples Temple and Jonestown. This book deepens our understanding of the tragedy of Jonestown by refusing to reduce the story to that single ending. This eye to human complexity also guides the book into the present, examining the lives of survivors, the state of current research and scholarship, and the figure of Peoples Temple as it appears in contemporary artistic and cultural work. Moore also provides the reader with enough resources to open a multitude of avenues to further research. Accessible to the student historian, her perspective prompts wide-ranging and important questions on our contemporary practices and ways of thinking about religion, community, and memory."

Catherine Wessinger

"Rebecca Moore's study is a comprehensive and accessible treatment based on forty years of research and reflection on the dynamics that caused the tragic deaths in Jonestown on November 18, 1978 and the event's impact on American culture. Drawing on an array of primary sources, Moore provides an astute and honest account of Peoples Temple and Jonestown, while simultaneously depicting the humanity of the individual members. This book will inform specialists, students, and general readers. I highly recommend it."

Tanya HolliS Archivist/Manuscripts Librarian

"Rebecca Moore's thoughtful, balanced book makes a significant contribution to recent scholarship aimed at redressing the sensationalism of many previous accounts of Peoples Temple and Jonestown. This book deepens our understanding of the tragedy of Jonestown by refusing to reduce the story to that single ending. This eye to human complexity also guides the book into the present, examining the lives of survivors, the state of current research and scholarship, and the figure of Peoples Temple as it appears in contemporary artistic and cultural work. Moore also provides the reader with enough resources to open a multitude of avenues to further research. Accessible to the student historian, her perspective prompts wide-ranging and important questions on our contemporary practices and ways of thinking about religion, community, and memory."

Laura Johnston KohlJonestown and Peoples Temple survivor

"As one of a few survivors, I continue to learn details and facts that were hidden from me. I learned many new details when I read the book. An ever-growing group is collaborating to put the pieces together in a mosaic that will bring together the truest picture we can make. Rebecca's book will be one of the cornerstones used to build an understanding of the facts, not the media blitz, and not a simplistic view of the horror of the ending. Those who lost their lives in Guyana and those whose lives were decimated here in the United States deserve more than that, and Rebecca articulately puts the facts together to so that we can envision and understand the community as it lived."

Eugene V. Gallagher Rosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies

"Rebecca Moore provides the fullest account we have of the career of Peoples Temple. In a sympathetic but critical manner, she charts its beginnings in Indianapolis, its transformations in California, the tragic events at Jonestown in the Guyanese jungle, and the afterlives of Peoples Temple in American cultural memory. Drawing on scholarly and popular sources, interviews, archives, and a trove of materials released by the U. S. government in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, she tells a rich and detailed story that captures both the horror and humanity of Peoples Temple. This is the place to start for anyone interested in Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, or Jonestown."

Eugene V. GallagherRosemary Park Professor of Religious Studies

"Rebecca Moore provides the fullest account we have of the career of Peoples Temple. In a sympathetic but critical manner, she charts its beginnings in Indianapolis, its transformations in California, the tragic events at Jonestown in the Guyanese jungle, and the afterlives of Peoples Temple in American cultural memory. Drawing on scholarly and popular sources, interviews, archives, and a trove of materials released by the U. S. government in response to Freedom of Information Act requests, she tells a rich and detailed story that captures both the horror and humanity of Peoples Temple. This is the place to start for anyone interested in Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, or Jonestown."

Laura Johnston Kohl Jonestown and Peoples Temple survivor

"As one of a few survivors, I continue to learn details and facts that were hidden from me. I learned many new details when I read the book. An ever-growing group is collaborating to put the pieces together in a mosaic that will bring together the truest picture we can make. Rebecca's book will be one of the cornerstones used to build an understanding of the facts, not the media blitz, and not a simplistic view of the horror of the ending. Those who lost their lives in Guyana and those whose lives were decimated here in the United States deserve more than that, and Rebecca articulately puts the facts together to so that we can envision and understand the community as it lived."

Tanya HolliSArchivist/Manuscripts Librarian

"Rebecca Moore's thoughtful, balanced book makes a significant contribution to recent scholarship aimed at redressing the sensationalism of many previous accounts of Peoples Temple and Jonestown. This book deepens our understanding of the tragedy of Jonestown by refusing to reduce the story to that single ending. This eye to human complexity also guides the book into the present, examining the lives of survivors, the state of current research and scholarship, and the figure of Peoples Temple as it appears in contemporary artistic and cultural work. Moore also provides the reader with enough resources to open a multitude of avenues to further research. Accessible to the student historian, her perspective prompts wide-ranging and important questions on our contemporary practices and ways of thinking about religion, community, and memory."

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Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Mackrooster More than 1 year ago
I have been doing reasurch on Jonestown for over a year and found this to be useful. Also a great book to read if you are looking for a non-fiction read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago