A surprisingly even-handed book, the title of which perfectly encapsulates disturbing implications of conspiracy theorists and their beliefs ... Chapters mix poignant stories...with tales of darker factions ... Despite moments of humor, the tone of Off the Edge is elegiac, with sadness over the consequences of Flat Earthers' beliefs.
Extraordinary ... Weill’s investigation of flat-eartherism makes clear that adherence to a conspiracy theory is not intellectual but emotional. Fear and uncertainty about the world and one’s place in it fuel a desperate desire for clarity—even if that clarity is rooted in a nonsensical worldview that drives a wedge between the believer and their loved ones. But there’s still hope for these broken relationships. Weill shows that people can and do recover from their fever dreams, but not through intellectual argumentation alone.
Weill traces the growth of the Flat Earth movement, from nineteenth-century Cambridgeshire to early-twentieth-century Illinois to its explosion on the internet ... In lively prose, Weill untangles the most complicated webs, revealing the real people who believe the unbelievable.
[An] insightful and surprisingly empathetic survey of conspiracy theories on the history of Flat Earth theory ... Weill’s immersion in the Flat Earth community and acknowledgment of her own conspiratorial thinking gives her reporting a refreshingly compassionate slant. The result is an illuminating take on a much scrutinized subject.
This provocative book is sure to inspire debate about conspiracy theories as well as how citizens of a fractured world can learn to overcome their fear of radical planetary change ... A timely and disturbing study of flawed, dangerous thinking.