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|Published||2003 (University of California Press; 1st edition)|
|Preceded by||Religion and the Racist Right|
|Followed by||Chasing Phantoms|
A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America is a 2003 non-fiction book written by Michael Barkun, professor emeritus of political science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
Along with the Internet playing a key role in introducing individuals to beliefs once consigned to the outermost fringe of American political and religious life, Barkun points to the convergence of two phenomena that influences contemporary American conspiracism:
Some people believe in the lost continent of Atlantis and in unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Others worry about an 18th-century secret society called the Bavarian Illuminati or a mythical Zionist-Occupied Government secretly running the United States. What if these disparate elements shared beliefs, joined forces, won a much larger audience, broke out of their intellectual and political ghetto, and became capable of challenging the premises of public life in the United States? This is the frightening prospect, soberly presented by Michael Barkun in his important, just-published book.