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FAU Lecture to Address 9/11 Conspiracy Theories

            BOCA RATON, FL (October 12, 2010) Florida Atlantic University s department of history presents a lecture on the conspiracy theories about the September 11 th attacks entitled "Enemies Within: The Conspiracy Culture of Modern America." The prize-winning author Robert Goldberg from the University of Utah will speak on Thursday, October 28 at 2 p.m. in the University Theatre on FAU s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. The lecture is free with a suggested donation of $10.

            Terms like the grassy knoll, New World Order, and Area 51 are now part of our national lexicon.  They reflect the continuing power of conspiracy theories to affect our perceptions of the world.  Although such thinking has shaped American life since the Salem witch trials, conspiracy theories have become even more prominent since the attacks of September 11, 2001.  In this lecture, the prize-winning historian Robert Goldberg investigates the role of conspiracy theories in modern American politics.  In addition to the 9/11 conspiracy theories, he looks at five major conspiracy theories of the past half-century, including the Roswell UFO incident, the Communist threat, the rise of the Antichrist, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the Jewish plot against black America.  Examining how the conspiracy theories became widely popular in the United States, Goldberg contends they are not merely the products of a lunatic fringe.  Rather, paranoid rhetoric and thinking are disturbingly central in America today.

            Forget everything you think you know about conspiracy theories, said Kenneth Osgood, a U.S. historian at FAU.  Robert Goldberg reveals that it s not just crackpots and nutcases that buy into them. Conspiracy theories are absolutely central to American culture.  If you ve been following the Tea Party movement, or rumors about President Obama s religion or his real place of birth, or the crazy allegations about the plots behind 9/11, this is a talk you don t want to miss. It will keep you in your seats, and it will change the way you think about modern America.
            Goldberg is an award-winning author, teacher and accomplished U.S. historian.  His books include Conspiracy Theories in  American History (2003); Enemies Within:  The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America (2001); Barry Goldwater (1995); and Grassroots ResistanceSocial Movements in Twentieth Century America (1991).  Goldberg is currently working on a book titled The Shape of Things to ComeThe Presidential Election of 1964 soon to be published by the University Press of Kansas. 

            A professor of history at the University of Utah, Goldberg has received numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize for Teaching (2004) and the Phi Alpha Theta Book Award for Enemies Within (2002).  His biography of Barry Goldwater was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
             The lecture, presented by the department of history in FAU's Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, is the sixth lecture in the John O'Sullivan Memorial Lecture Series. The series was initiated as a tribute to the late John O'Sullivan, a former chair of FAU's history department, who devoted his entire academic career to FAU. Inspired by O'Sullivan's dynamic teaching, several of his former students donated money to initiate a lecture series in his honor.

For further information about the lecture or the series, call 561-297-3840 or visit

- FAU -

About Florida Atlantic University:

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. For more information, visit .

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