Architects of Fear

by George Johnson

Winner of the Special Achievement in Nonfiction Award from the PEN Los Angeles Center, Architects of Fear developed something of a cult following and for awhile was becoming scarce. There was only a single printing, in hardcover, of which about 3,000 copies were sold or distributed to reviewers. The remaining stock was destroyed by the publisher. There never was a paperback edition.

With the advent of Internet book-selling, however, used copies began appearing for sale on Alibris and Amazon. Amazon will also now let you search the text.

In my essay, On the Trail of the Illuminati: A Journalist's Search for The Conspiracy That Rules the World (originally published in the anthology Secrets of Angels and Demons), I tell the weird tale of how my book was pirated and transmogrified by a right-wing Japanese nationalist for use in his own bizarre conspiracy theory. (As I understand it, I am depicted in the introduction as an agent of a conspiracy to deny that there are conspiracies. This also seems to be the view of this gentleman.)

Here is a sampling of the book (the real version):

Contents

Introduction

"Splendid and indispensable . . . comprehensive and up-to-date, endlessly interesting; were its subject not so appalling it would be sheer entertainment, a titillating glimpse into yahooland." -- Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Admirably level-headed . . . 'Architects of Fear' is both a useful political reference and a ripping good read." -- Coevolution Quarterly

"A useful companion volume to Richard Hofstadter's 'The Paranoid Style in American Politics.' Easy to read and well researched, this book will be of interest to anyone looking for information about the radical right, the John Birch Society, the political theories of fundamentalist, right-wing religious groups, the theory of the Illuminati, right-wing perspectives on modern society, and the paranoid perspective in politics . . . A valuable contribution on the unique history of U.S. politics and fringe groups." -- Choice

"A riveting survey of the philosophical underpinnings of the Far Right in the U.S. and its roots in Europe . . . Johnson shows that throughout the centuries, the Right has been ever ready to do battle with rationalism, humanism and cosmopolitanism." -- Publisher's Weekly

"Fascinating reading in a well-written book" -- National Catholic News Service