So you know that neighbor of yours who's convinced the Bush administration blew up the World Trade Center towers? The one who's sure JFK killed Marilyn Monroe (or was it the other way 'round?) There's a method to his madness, according to David Aaronovitch's new book Voodoo Histories, which examines how such theories affect our perception of history.
From Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin's review: Such conspiracies "divert us from real threats. Fruit-loop perorations about explosives concealed in the elevator shafts of the World Trade Center distract Americans from the unimaginary conspiracy by Islamic fundamentalists to destroy us. And if the feds really blew up the levees during Hurricane Katrina, there's no need to examine the emergency preparedness of New Orleans' government, is there?"
Click here to read the whole review. And stop being so paranoid.