New York Times best-selling author Sarah Kendzior explores the United States' culture of conspiracy, putting forth a the argument that uncritical faith in broken institutions is as dangerous as false narratives peddled by propagandists.
... a wide-ranging, thought-provoking analysis of such theories in modern America ... At times, Kendzior proves her point about conspiracies and conspiracy theories in a way that she may not have intended. Some of the cases she cites to bolster her thesis are so convoluted, with so many characters and subplots, that the discussion may leave some readers behind, losing the thread because of complexity or lack of interest. So a culture of conspiracy can make Americans complacent for other reasons, like the fact that too much is going on for them to even keep track...She seems to understand that problem but doesn’t always avoid it ... in general, her writing raises points worth discussing and dissecting, in ways that can make readers stop and think and come up with conclusions that may make sense — but aren’t always easy to accept.
... [Kendzior] deftly dissects the tangled truths behind the conspiracies that intertwine American and international politics, business, and criminality with a style reminiscent of Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill (2019) or Bob Woodward’s recent books. The author delineates concrete political and criminal conspiracies from those conspiracy theories that are quickly becoming ubiquitous to American society. She posits that true criminal and political machinations and their conspiracy-theory counterparts are detrimental to a diverse American public. Challenging the power structures that allow individuals of various political affiliations to commit crimes against other citizens, Kendzior details current events to support the assertion that both the actions and the inactions of U.S. leaders have created an unstable and unsustainable country. Kendzior’s compelling and urgent prose will speak to readers who are working to make sense of the current political and social landscapes.
A sharp dissection of a culture of lies, secrets, and conspiracies ... Kendzior’s indignation can sometimes wax a touch too righteous, as when she snipes at Anthony Fauci for his supposedly overweening self-regard. Nonetheless, her incisive account of a society in a death spiral, beset by 'simultaneous revivals of the worst of the American past,' is endlessly compelling ... A provocative, pointed challenge to all Americans to dig harder for the truth.