Travel Reads: “That’s What They Want You to Think” by Paul Simpson

Did the government orchestrate John Lennon’s murder? Did FDR withhold information that could have prevented the tragedy of Pearl Harbor? What really can be found in Area 51? These conspiracies and many more are considered in Paul Simpson’s That’s What They Want You To Think: Conspiracies Real, Possible, and Paranoid.

Carma Spence holding a copy of “That’s What They Want You to Think” by Paul Simpson


Title: That’s What They Want You To Think: Conspiracies Real, Possible, and Paranoid
Author: Paul Simpson
Kindle: Print length 303 pages
Publisher: Zenith Press
ISBN (paperback): 978-0760341247
This book was once available in paperback, but now is only available in Kindle format.

That's What They Want You to Think

Summary of That’s What They Want You to Think

This book is basically an encyclopedia of conspiracies. It gives a fairly objective overview of 29 conspiracies, both real and possibly imagined (as you can rarely really tell with a conspiracy). They are organized into five groups: assassinations (such as Abraham Lincoln and Princess Diana), military (such as Operation Valkyrie and Pearl Harbor), aliens (such as Roswell and the Bermuda Triangle), secret societies (such as the Freemasons and the Illuminati), and government (such as the moon landings and 9/11).

For each conspiracy, an overview of the event is given, as well as a summary of the more prominent conspiracy theories. If evidence supports or refutes a theory, that is covered, as well. In addition, sources of information are provided for readers who want to dig deeper into the issue.

For those conspiracies that have been used in or made into movies, there is a sidebar that discusses how accurate they are (or how much poetic license was used).

What Worked for Me

If you’re curious about conspiracies, would like to get a grand overview of the most prominent ones or even are a writer who wants to add a little conspiracy flavor to your stories, this book is perfect. It gives you the basics: what history says happened, what conspiracy theories say really happened, and what evidence is currently available to support or refute both (or more) sides of the story.

The way the book is organized helps put the various events and their conspiracies into context. And, when conspiracies overlap (such as the assassinations of JFK and his brother Robert), the ties that connect them are mentioned, as well.

That’s What They Want You To Think is well illustrated with photographs and art that help put faces to the names, as well as locations to the events. Complex ideas are broken down into easy-to-understand terms. The writing style is simple and personable. It is clear that a lot of research went into this book and the information was digested and regurgitated in a way that pretty much anyone can understand.

What Didn’t Work for Me

If you’re a die-hard conspiracy theory follower, this book is probably going to be a little too light reading for you.


The paperback was a bit too bulky to be a good travel companion, but the Kindle version is perfect (if you have a reader you like that can read Kindle books.


While possibly a bit dry for bedtime reading, That’s What They Want You To Think does make fun plane, train and (someone else is driving) automobile reading. It will also make a nice gift for the budding conspiracy theorist on your list.

Score for That’s What They Want You To Think: 3 Palm Trees out of 5 Possible

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Grab your copy on Amazon today.

NOTE: Although I received this book free to review, that did not affect my opinion of the book. Read past reviews of books I’ve received for free and you’ll know I don’t hold my punches.

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About the author

As The Genre Traveler, Carma Spence loves to view the world through Genre-Coloured glasses. In other words, she sees the world through a lens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, where trash cans can be Daleks in disguise and neighborhood forests can harbor faeries and sprites. Magic realism is real! Or at least you can choose to see the world that way to add to the fun and awe of life.