Raven: The Untold Story of the Rev. Jim Jones and His People
It's the story of a charismatic socialist who swindles the establishment and the media into ignoring his totalitarian instincts and seeing him as a Messianic figure. Not that there's anything remotely analogous there to anyone we might know today.
It's a great book by Tim Reiterman who was a contemporaneous reporter at the San Francisco Examiner. It is thoroughly researched and documented, but reads almost like a novel. You get to know so many seemingly normal players in the drama, and though you know the rough outline of the final scene already, the anticipation builds as you wonder just how it will play out and who will still be there when the stage goes dark.
I've also just read The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine and When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man, both thoughtful and well-chosen gifts courtesy of JF. The former is the story of the few who made a fortune predicting the housing crash and an indictment of the current crony capitalism regime, by Michael Lewis of Liars' Poker and Moneyball fame. The latter is the fascinating autobiography of Jerry Weintraub, who talked his way from New York City poor kid to promoter of Elvis and Sinatra and producer of some of the biggest Hollywood movies today.
All three are highly recommended.
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