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  • Published: 2 May 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473553613
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

Republic of Lies

American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power




From UFOs to the New World Order, this is the inside story of how conspiracy theorists won over America

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‘Timely and troubling’ Evening Standard
‘A necessary book’ David Aaronovitch
‘Frequently jaw-dropping’ Huffington Post


From UFOs to the New World Order, the inside story of how conspiracy theories won over America.

In November 2017, a serial climate change denier and anti-vaxxer was elected President of the United States. The rise of Donald Trump marked the beginning of a new American epoch: the age of the conspiracy theorist.

Now, Anna Merlan goes undercover in America’s sprawling network of conspiracy theorists and uncovers their secrets. She meets the UFOlogist who claims to have travelled to Mars with a young Barack Obama. She chats with the ‘pizzagate’ truthers who think Washington D.C.’s favourite pizzeria is run by a satanic paedophile ring. And she bumps into Alex Jones, the YouTube impresario who thinks the state is using chemical warfare to turn the population gay – and who happens to be on first-name terms with the leader of the free world.

Merlan reveals a world of innuendo and propaganda lying just beneath the surface of US culture. It might just help explain the political turmoil of our time.
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‘Through exhaustive research, personal interviews, and a critical yet at times appropriately empathetic approach, writer Anna Merlan has written a captivating book that illuminates the landscape of conspiracy theories.’ New York Magazine

‘An entertaining taxonomy of toxic ideas’ Herald

‘A rock-steady narrator with a ready command of history, nerves of steel, and incisive social insights . . . We need a thousand of her, or a million.’ The Nation

  • Published: 2 May 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473553613
  • Imprint: Cornerstone Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the author

Anna Merlan

Anna Merlan is a journalist specialising in politics, crime, religion, subcultures, and women’s lives. She is a reporter at the Special Projects Desk, the investigative division of Gizmodo Media Group. She was previously a senior reporter at Jezebel and staff writer at the Village Voice and the Dallas Observer. She lives in New York.

Praise for Republic of Lies

Anna Merlan reveals that the conspiracy theorists we all once felt a little sorry for (if annoyed by) have become the masters of the universe, lodged in the White House and presidential palaces throughout the world. It’s a rich insight that makes this something more than a good book – it makes it a necessary book.

David Aaronovitch, author of VOODOO HISTORIES

[An] engrossing assessment of the profitable mainstreaming of conspiracy mongering in civic and political life . . . Captures this unsettling narrative succinctly and concretely . . . A lucid, well-researched look at a slippery topic.

Kirkus Reviews

To understand America you need to understand conspiracy theories . . . Merlan’s exploration into the subject discovers some timely and troubling questions.

Evening Standard

If you’re seeking a fascinating perspective on current political era, look no further than Anna Merlans Republic of Lies. Merlan investigates some of the most popular (and wild) conspiracy theories today, and more importantly establishes why current societal dynamics create fertile ground for conspiracy.

Refinery29

The world of modern conspiracy theories is dizzying, but through exhaustive research, personal interviews, and a critical yet at times appropriately empathetic approach, writer Anna Merlan has written a captivating book that illuminates the landscape of conspiracy theories and what they might say about society as a whole.

New York Magazine

A frequently jaw-dropping, yet deeply sensitive and curious, journey through some of the most pervasive conspiracy theories in America today.

Huffington Post

With restrained but eloquent prose, Merlan unblinkingly documents our age of conspiracy. The book is filled with bizarre situations . . . and the author’s droll voice buoys us through it all, bringing in expert commentary and academic research along the way . . . Against this formidable social trend, Merlan offers herself – a rock-steady narrator with a ready command of history, nerves of steel, and incisive social insights – as both guide and antidote. One gets the feeling that we need a thousand of her, or a million, to enter such communities with fearlessness and empathy, catalog the personalities, and emerge with humane conclusions.

The Nation

This book proves how society is much more like Homeland and House of Cards than we’d like to think.

Mail on Sunday

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