The Road to Jonestown

The Road to Jonestown

Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

Downloadable Audiobook - 2017
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By the New York Times bestselling author of Manson, the comprehensive, authoritative, and tragic story of preacher Jim Jones, who was responsible for the Jonestown Massacre—the largest murder-suicide in American history.



In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader.



In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.



Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones’s Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones’s orders. The Road to Jonestown is the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
ISBN: 9781508231851
Call Number: eAudiobook
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
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audio file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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butternutabode
May 14, 2018

Overall this book is very informative. It takes a rather straight historical arch of Jim Jones and his creation of People's Temple. There is very little in this book that seems shocking once its context is given. My knowledge of Jim and the Temple was cursory to begin. What I did not realize is that Jones started and was rather successful at creating a socialist Utopian society that fed the hungry, clothed the poor and rejected racism in all its forms. Pulling out of the turbulent '60s, People's Temple appeared like a beacon of hope for all who held equality and communal effort in changing society's structure as sacred values. Much of the rhetoric mimics that floating around Portland today. I would say we should take this as a cautionary tale but I will stop short; any action short of condemning Jones outright is socially unacceptable.

I would have enjoyed a bit more in-depth interviews, opinions taken directly from the individuals present during the development of the Temple. As it is, the book is still engaging and, as I said before, helps give context to this significant cultural event of the '70s and cult organizations in general.

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