Conspiracy theory and the history of media in the eighteenth century

Book chapter


McKenzie-McHarg, Andrew and Oberhauser, Claus. (2020). Conspiracy theory and the history of media in the eighteenth century. In In M. Butter and P. Knight (Ed.). Routledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories pp. 401 - 414 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429452734-4_2
AuthorsMcKenzie-McHarg, Andrew and Oberhauser, Claus
EditorsM. Butter and P. Knight
Abstract

This chapter focuses on the eighteenth century, but episodes from other centuries will be referenced in order to examine its claim to an exalted status in the annals of conspiracy theory. In writing both the public and the secret history of Justinian’s reign, Procopius rehearsed a division of historical accounts that would later assume cardinal significance for conspiracy theory, namely the division between the official version and the behind-the-scenes, unofficial counter-history. Conspiracy did, however, bind the network of correspondents that figures in the grand narratives penned by A. Barruel and J. A. Starck. In the minds of figures like Barruel and Starck, public opinion had become the Archimedean point at which the conspirators lodged the lever of their new ideas and were thus able to topple the old order. The ‘network’ of ‘obscure men’ is, however, bound less by conspiratorial aims and more by uncouth ignorance and the crudities of their rude Latin.

Page range401 - 414
Year2020
Book titleRoutledge Handbook of Conspiracy Theories
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
SeriesConspiracy Theories
ISBN9780815361749
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429452734-4_2
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
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