NPR

'Republic Of Lies' Explores The Fixation With Conspiracy Theories

Author Anna Merlan's recitations are chilling, as are her warnings that fringe beliefs tend to go mainstream — and how their rise is seen against a resurgence in nationalism and white supremacy.
Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power, by Anna Merlan Source: Metropolitan Books

Since its founding, America has been fertile ground for conspiracy beliefs. While every generation produces rumor-mongers, today we anoint them with special powers through social media.

Anna Merlan, a journalist at Gizmodo Media Group, explores our contemporary fixation with conspiracy theories of all political stripes in Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power. Throughout the book, she reports from gatherings of people whose beliefs are both extreme and false.

Merlan explains that today's conspiracy thinking arises from (1) increasingly rigid class

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