Them: Adventures with Extremists (Paperback)
by Jon Ronson
|Format:||Paperback 352 pages|
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THEM began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them -- Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen -- he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In THEM, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California. THEM is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of extremism, in which Jon learns some alarming things about the looking-glass world of 'them' and 'us'. Are the extremists on to something? Or has Jon become one of THEM?
Publisher and industry reviews
'A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world' Louis Theroux, Guardian; 'Very entertaining and very frightening' Q magazine
UK Kirkus review
When this bestseller was originally published in 2001, it was accompanied by a television series. Reading the book and watching the series provoked a state of bewildered amusement at the conspiracy theorists who exposed themselves as both deadly serious and utterly deluded under Jon Ronson's friendly investigations. All the while shadowy figures moved in the background, doing everything within their power to ensure they remained shadowy as the affable reporter delved deeper into 'an escalating cold war of paranoia'. Those apparently with little in common, such as neo-Nazis and Islamic fundamentalists, came together to rail against the New World Order, the 'secret rulers' who operated behind closed doors. To find out exactly where they got their ideas, Ronson accompanied them, finding himself in dangerous situations where he was forced to seriously consider the claims of these people who existed on the margins. And, reading his adventures, we are often left to ponder their claims too, although the theory of the 12-foot lizards is somewhat difficult to believe. Ronson's immensely likeable personality and sense of humour inform all of these investigations, from David Icke's travelling conspiracy show to the 'Satanic summer camp' where world leaders get together annually to worship a giant stone owl. He's at his very best, though, when quietly pointing out the little ironies, like the UK Islamic activist who used giant plastic Coca-Cola bottles to collect money for Hamas and Hizbullah, or a West African encounter with the 'transcendental enormity' of Ian Paisley. The events of September 11th 2001 provide a chilling background for the latest release of this sometimes hilarious, sometimes worrying investigation into those generally considered 'extremists'. And, even if you dismiss their often outlandish claims and allegations as the rantings of the deranged, you'll find much to enjoy in Jon Ronson's superbly written revelations. (Kirkus UK)
About the author
Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of three bestsellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare At Goats, and The Psychopath Test, and three collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness, What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness, and Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries. He lives in London and New York City.
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