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American Anomalies

Posted by heyrandy on October 7, 2010

American Conspiracies, Jesse Ventura with Dick Russell, 228 pgs., end notes, bibliography.

Beginning with the assassination of Lincoln and going through the 2008 Presidential election, Ventura and his co-author examine 14 different events in American history. Listing many oddities, anomalies, and investigate blunders and short comings, the authors try to interest the reader in a more skeptical approach to history. Ventura does not trust the official explanation of anything. If he did there would be no book. There is not much of a book anyway.

Each chapter begins with short synopses ¬†of what happened, the official story, and Ventura “take.” Ventura is right to question the official line. The government has too often moved into cover-up mode when wrong doing is exposed for anyone to blithely accept the official version. Truth tends to leak out. Sometimes truth is forcibly expelled. But is there really as much to this as the author claims?

I am not convinced. There is always much to learn about events, but not everything is a nefarious plot to seize power. Ventura does not distinguish between the bureaucratic incompetence that pervades government and the truly perfidious cabal that runs large sections of the world. A bureaucrat’s favorite weapon is not the bullet but the delay. Bureaucracies simply out wait any reformer. It always works.

The writing in the book is often leaden. It is as if Ventura, the former commando turned professional wrestler turned state governor and now TV host and author, wrote it by himself. The book was not a joy to read.

The research is also questionable. He says Che Guevara is one of his “heroes.” Castro’s Minister of Justice (i.e., Chief Executioner) is no one worthy of admiration. Do your homework, Jesse. Che was nothing but a cowardly murderer. He surrendered without a fight even though he was carrying a loaded rifle.

If you are interested in any of the events Ventura covers, you may find a couple of questions to pursue with your own research, but the overall effect of this book is disappointing.




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