Jesse Walker announces new book
Reason Magazine managing editor Jesse Walker has announced he has secured a contract with a major publisher for his second book, The United States of Paranoia.
The new book, tentatively due out in fall 2013, is a history of American political paranoia and discusses the role conspiracy theories have played in American politics and culture.
"The central argument is that conspiracy theories aren't just a feature of the fringe but have been a potent force across the political spectrum, in the center as well as in the extremes, from the colonial era to the present. I also argue that conspiracy stories need to be read not just as claims to be believed or debunked but as folklore," Walker says.
Robert Anton Wilson is expected to figure prominently in the new book as the godfather of what Walker calls "the ironic style of American conspiracism." Walker says this is "a sensibility that treats alleged cabals as a bizarre mutant mythos to be mined for laughs, metaphors, and social insights."
I'll have much more soon about Mr. Walker, 40, his new book and his insights into Robert Anton Wilson. His first book, Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, remains in print.