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Showing posts from October, 2011

Book Review: A Thousand Lives

When I heard  Julia Scheeres  had a new book coming out, I jumped on it. I read  her memoir,  Jesus Land ,  several years ago and found it fascinating. I was even more eager to read the new book:  A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception and Survival at Jonestown . I was not disappointed. Scheeres was working on a novel about a charismatic preacher from Indiana, when she looked up Jim Jones and then discovered the released, but untapped FBI archives, audio files and documents, of Jonestown. In her introduction, Scheeres writes, “I believe that true stories are more powerful, in a meaningful, existential way, than made-up ones. Learning about other people’s lives somehow puts one’s own life into sharper relief… You won’t find the word  cult  in this book, unless I’m directly citing a source that uses the word… The word  cult  only discourages intellectual curiosity and empathy. As one survivor told me, nobody joins a cult.” As I read this book, that last