[Marxism] Richard J. Evans reviews ‘Burning the Reichstag’ by Benjamin Carter Hett · LRB 8 May 2014

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 30 11:21:37 MDT 2014


The Conspiracists
Richard J. Evans

     Burning the Reichstag: An Investigation into the Third Reich’s 
Enduring Mystery by Benjamin Carter Hett
     Oxford, 413 pp, £18.09, February, ISBN 978 0 19 932232 9

Conspiracy theories cluster around violent and unexpected political 
events. The sudden death of a head of state, the assassination of a 
government minister, a bomb attack on a building or a crowd: these 
seemingly random occurrences demand explanation, and for many, the idea 
that they could be the product of the deranged mind of a single 
individual seems too simple to be plausible. The authorship must surely 
have been collective, the planning long-term and meticulous. The killing 
of John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963, or the destruction of the Twin 
Towers in New York in 2001, are the two major vortices into which 
conspiracy theorists have been sucked in our own time, generating ever 
more elaborate explanations and pseudo-explanations. Argument continues 
to rage, as the proponents of rival theories construct evidential 
edifices of such staggering detail and complexity that they are often 
almost impossible for a lay reader to navigate.

full: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n09/richard-j-evans/the-conspiracists




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