The Value of Conspiracy Theory

  title={The Value of Conspiracy Theory},
  author={Ed White},
  journal={American Literary History},
  pages={1 - 31}
  • E. White
  • Published 1 February 2002
  • History
  • American Literary History
For several decades, many historians and cultural critics have lamented a primal pathology of American culture, "the tendency of political leaders and their followers to view the world in conspiratorial terms" (Curry and Brown vii). Coincident with this condemnation, of course, is denial of the validity of conspiracy theories one recent study defines them as "fears of nonexistent conspiracies" (Pipes 1) which are read, rather, as symptoms of broader cultural dynamics. But more is at stake here… 

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