Brief Review of Kathryn Olmsted, Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11

Kathryn Olmsted's Real Enemies is an excellent survey of conspiracy theories in the 20th-century United States. A history professor at UC-Davis, Olmsted makes three arguments. First, the U.S. government perpetrated conspiracies against American citizens in response to alleged anti-government conspiracies. In response, Americans constructed alternative conspiracy theories to explain the conspiracy theories that the government …

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