Them : Adventures with Extremists

3.93 (10,740 ratings by Goodreads)
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THEM began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them -- Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen -- he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In THEM, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California. THEM is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of extremism, in which Jon learns some alarming things about the looking-glass world of 'them' and 'us'. Are the extremists on to something? Or has Jon become one of THEM?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 22mm | 180g
  • Pan MacMillan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprints
  • 0330375466
  • 9780330375467
  • 26,231

Review Text

When this bestseller was originally published in 2001, it was accompanied by a television series. Reading the book and watching the series provoked a state of bewildered amusement at the conspiracy theorists who exposed themselves as both deadly serious and utterly deluded under Jon Ronson's friendly investigations. All the while shadowy figures moved in the background, doing everything within their power to ensure they remained shadowy as the affable reporter delved deeper into 'an escalating cold war of paranoia'. Those apparently with little in common, such as neo-Nazis and Islamic fundamentalists, came together to rail against the New World Order, the 'secret rulers' who operated behind closed doors. To find out exactly where they got their ideas, Ronson accompanied them, finding himself in dangerous situations where he was forced to seriously consider the claims of these people who existed on the margins. And, reading his adventures, we are often left to ponder their claims too, although the theory of the 12-foot lizards is somewhat difficult to believe. Ronson's immensely likeable personality and sense of humour inform all of these investigations, from David Icke's travelling conspiracy show to the 'Satanic summer camp' where world leaders get together annually to worship a giant stone owl. He's at his very best, though, when quietly pointing out the little ironies, like the UK Islamic activist who used giant plastic Coca-Cola bottles to collect money for Hamas and Hizbullah, or a West African encounter with the 'transcendental enormity' of Ian Paisley. The events of September 11th 2001 provide a chilling background for the latest release of this sometimes hilarious, sometimes worrying investigation into those generally considered 'extremists'. And, even if you dismiss their often outlandish claims and allegations as the rantings of the deranged, you'll find much to enjoy in Jon Ronson's superbly written revelations. (Kirkus UK)show more

Review quote

'This book is chilling and hilarious by turns. Ronson's trademark laid-back attitude is a delight' Independent 'A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world' Louis Theroux, Guardianshow more

About Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of three bestsellers, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare At Goats, and The Psychopath Test, and three collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness, What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness, and Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries. He lives in London and New York more

Rating details

10,740 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 26% (2,783)
4 47% (5,004)
3 23% (2,511)
2 3% (375)
1 1% (67)

Our customer reviews

I first stumbled across the name Jon Ronson back in 2006 after seeing Alex Jones' Dark Secrets inside Bohemian Grove. Since then ive seen more of Alex's depressing rather sensationalist DVDs than i feel is right for a balanced soul and mind. Jon Ronsons' Them,is the perfect antidote for those who need a time out from all the scaremongering and terrifying preaching thats rife within the conspiracy world. He seems to be able to see the paranoia and fear from both sides of the spectrum with equal humour and sometimes frustration. He meets with many extremists and fundamentalists,showing their human sides aswell as their many flaws as they go about their everyday business. What is evident is that many of the people interviewed,do all agree on one thing. That a powerful group of very rich and therefore influential,well resourced and connected people rule and manipulate the world for their own ends,which is shown to be not entirely false form what is shown within these pages,but also not as straight forward and planned out as conspiracy theorists may want you to believe. Before reading this book i had the opportunity to see the documentary seires that accompanied this book,which was entitled 'secret rulers of the world'. The series is very similar to the book,but the book features a few more exploits such as meeting the KKK and Ian Paisley among others,but after having the seires so fresh in my mind then reading the book i found there to be one or two inaccuracies in the wording of somethings and the settings in which other things were actually said when written within the book,very trivial but can alter the way you perceived things to be said. Seeing as Jon also points out how this can be quiet annoying to Jim Tucker when he miss quoted him,i thought it was worth a mention. Other than that i found Them Adventures with extremists to be a very compulsive read and found it hard to put down. Not too many people try to write about this sort of thing in a even handed way,and Jon Ronson does a pretty good job,although he dose seem to lean towards the globalists at Bohemian Grove....or is that me just thinking hes become one of them? : )show more
by Wayne
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