I ended this book feeling that I whilst I had read an interesting article about “extremists”, I didn’t necessarily feel I had got to the heart of the subject matter.
There are reasons for this and I freely admit that some of them might be mine and some might reflect the nature of the people Jon is looking at.
I’ll come clean from the start and say that there is a much better book on the role of the conspiracy theory in 20th century history and that is the excellent work by David Aaronovitch – see below…. That book covers the topics in great factual detail but doesn’t look at the characters. What Jon has done here is to try and see this topic from the inside. He nearly gets under the skin if Omar Bakri, but misses the mark completely with Ian Paisley.
At the end I was left thinking that Jon himself feels very insecure and therefore neatly fits the stereotype of his own group. Sure,he had a lot of interesting times but the whole thing is like a series of disconnected vignettes and displays no one coherent thread.