Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History – Kurt Andersen

The history of America is inseparable from the influence of various fantasies and their believers, including (but not limited to) religious followings, Disney fanatics, gold seekers, conspiracy theorists, and science denialists of all sorts.

Fantasyland is an in-depth history of American fantasies and how they have shaped our culture and public discourse. The topics include:

  • Americanized Religion
  • The Gold Rush
  • The Puritans
  • Satanic Panic
  • Early American Anti-Science
  • Joe Smith & Mormonism
  • Magical Healing
  • Conspiracy Theories
  • Industrialized Fantasy
  • Show Business & Fantasy Entertainment
  • Utopian Suburbs
  • Spiritualism
  • Alternative (baseless) Medicine
  • 1980s Satanic Cults - (we seem to have forgotten all about this?!)
  • X-Files
  • GOP Embracing Fantasy
  • GMOs
  • Guns

Andersen's writing style is entertaining and captivating. He weaves relevant case studies and his very apt historical knowledge into a very compelling suggestion that we were always headed in this direction.

Kurt Andersen – Fantasyland

“Skepticism, after all, is an antonym for credulity. But when both are robust and overheated, they can fuse into conspiracy-mindedness.”

Kurt Andersen – Fantasyland

“… mix epic individualism with extreme religion; mix show business with everything else; let all that steep and simmer for a few centuries; run it through the anything-goes 1960s and the Internet age; the result is the America we inhabit today, where reality and fantasy are weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled.”

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