Them: Adventures with Extremists Review
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Wow! A book that handles the delicate subject of unusual groups and people (Ronson points out that his interviewees are chosen for being called “extremists” by others) and manages to be enlightening but not harsh, and forgiving without being too forgiving. In this non-fiction book, Jon Ronson, a humor journalist, hangs out with a variety of people, from the far left and the far right of the political and religious spectrums, as they go about their everyday lives. (Of course, those concerned about the way media portrays them wouldn't be completely unguarded when a journalist is hanging around, so the most interesting glimpses of some of these characters come when they forget for a few minutes now and then that they have a journalist along for the ride.)

The people Ronson hangs out with (some examples: a KKK Grand Wizard, an Islamic fundamentalist who claims to be friends with Osama Bin Laden, and a man who believes an alien race of twelve-foot lizards has infiltrated the world) all agree on one subject. They all think that the world is run by an elite group of businessmen and politicians who make the decisions at closed conferences and at bizarre owl-burning rituals in Northern California. What they disagree on is the exact nature of this group: whether it consists exclusively of Jews, western capitalists, twelve-foot lizards, or Satanists.

Being the good journalist that he is, Jon listened to these claims, then proceeded to track down both a closed conference and an owl-burning ritual where elite groups of businessmen and world leaders met. What he found out about these gatherings—and the people who believe they exist—is for you to learn if you read the book.

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