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The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple (edition 2017)
by Jeff Guinn (Author)
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn
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A portrait of the cult leader behind the Jonestown Massacre examines his personal life, from his extramarital affairs and drug use to his fraudulent faith healing practices and his decision to move his followers to Guyana, sharing new details about the events leading to the 1978 tragedy. "The Road to Jonestown is the definitive account of Jim Jones and the tragic events at Jonestown, the largest murder-suicide in American history. Based on newly released documents and new interviews with survivors, some of whom had never spoken publicly before, it answers the question, How could so many people not only die for Jim Jones but kill for him, too? In the 1950s, Jim Jones was a young Indianapolis minister who preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader. In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones's life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November 1978, when more than nine hundred people died--including almost three hundred infants and children--after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink. Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones's Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones's orders. The Road to Jonestown is as fascinating as it is disturbing, a classic story of how a charismatic but deeply flawed figure could lead so many people to tragedy."--Jacket.
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