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History Decoded
Cover of History Decoded
History Decoded
The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time
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It's an irresistible combination: Brad Meltzer, a born storyteller, counting down the world's most intriguing unsolved mysteries. And to make this richly illustrated book even richer, each chapter invites the reader along for an interactive experience through the addition of facsimile documents—the evidence! It's a treasure trove for conspiracy buffs, a Griffin and Sabine for history lovers.
Adapted from Decoded, Meltzer's hit show on the HISTORY network, History Decoded explores fascinating, unexplained questions. Is Fort Knox empty? Why was Hitler so intent on capturing the Roman "Spear of Destiny"? What's the government hiding in Area 51? Where did the Confederacy's $19 million in gold and silver go at the end of the Civil War? And did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone? Meltzer sifts through the evidence; weighs competing theories; separates what we know to be true with what's still—and perhaps forever—unproved or unprovable; and in the end, decodes the mystery, arriving at the most likely solution. Along the way we meet Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Nazi propagandists, and the real DB Cooper.
A riveting adventure through the compelling world of mysteries and conspiracies.

It's an irresistible combination: Brad Meltzer, a born storyteller, counting down the world's most intriguing unsolved mysteries. And to make this richly illustrated book even richer, each chapter invites the reader along for an interactive experience through the addition of facsimile documents—the evidence! It's a treasure trove for conspiracy buffs, a Griffin and Sabine for history lovers.
Adapted from Decoded, Meltzer's hit show on the HISTORY network, History Decoded explores fascinating, unexplained questions. Is Fort Knox empty? Why was Hitler so intent on capturing the Roman "Spear of Destiny"? What's the government hiding in Area 51? Where did the Confederacy's $19 million in gold and silver go at the end of the Civil War? And did Lee Harvey Oswald really act alone? Meltzer sifts through the evidence; weighs competing theories; separates what we know to be true with what's still—and perhaps forever—unproved or unprovable; and in the end, decodes the mystery, arriving at the most likely solution. Along the way we meet Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Nazi propagandists, and the real DB Cooper.
A riveting adventure through the compelling world of mysteries and conspiracies.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Brad Meltzer is the host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the HISTORY network, as well as the #1 New York Times bestselling author of thrillers like The Escape Artist, non-fiction books like The Lincoln Conspiracy, and the inspiring Ordinary People Change the World kids book series, with artist Chris Eliopoulos. He also helped find the missing 9/11 flag with his History network TV show, Brad Meltzer’sLost History.
     

Table of Contents-
  • Introduction
    #10 John Wilkes Booth: Was Lincoln's Assassin Apprehended?
    #9: Confederate Gold: Stolen Treasure or Hidden Wealth of a New Confederacy?
    #8: The Georgia Guidestones: America's Stonehenge
    #7: DB Cooper: American Outlaw
    #6: The White House: Where Is the Cornerstone of Democracy?
    #5: The Spear of Destiny: History's Most Sacred Relic
    #4: The Real Da Vinci Code: Did Leonardo Predict an Apocalypse?
    #3: Is There Any Gold in Fort Knox?
    #2: UFOs: Inside Roswell and Area 51
    #1: The Kennedy Assassination: The Truth Is Out There
    Acknowledgments
    Decoded Team
    Photo Credits


Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 10, 2013
    Newcomers and longtime fans of Meltzer’s popular TV show, Decoded (whereon he and a trio of experts investigate the veracity of various myths and legends), will relish this print companion, comprising summaries of 10 of the most intriguing topics pursued on the show, including the fate of John Wilkes Booth, UFOs in Area 51, Leonardo Da Vinci’s apocalyptic predictions, the assassination of J.F.K., and more. Mirroring the series, each chapter begins with Meltzer (The Inner Circle) posing a provocative question (e.g., “What if I told you that Fort Knox is empty?”) before leading readers through his process of interviewing experts and analyzing ancient texts and other ephemera to determine the answer—if there is one. As viewers know, the majority of his inquiries don’t have a definitive conclusion, but half the fun is getting there. Meltzer peppers each section with fascinating asides (an independent panel determined that all the shots that killed Kennedy came from the rear rather than from multiple angles) and trivia (Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier three months after the Roswell incident, something scientists had previously thought impossible) that is sure to keep readers enthralled and conspiracy theorists encouraged to continue to dig for the truth.

  • Kirkus

    October 15, 2013
    From a prolific novelist and legal analyst, a bemused look at the hidden conspiracies threaded throughout American history--the companion volume to the History Channel show. With the assistance of Ferrell (Tougher Times: A Practical Guide for Getting Through Them, 2009, etc.), Meltzer (The Fifth Assassin, 2013, etc.) begins by asserting that, although conspiracy theory can provide a shaky lens for examining our times, "someone must ask the hard questions, especially of our elected officials as well as powerful men who become members of so-called secret societies." He thus advances an expansive acceptance regarding both controversial and obscure footnotes to various historical narratives, coupled with a keen sense of how a belief in conspiracies has become central to our political life. In discussing the role of the Freemasons in building the White House, plans for the Confederacy to rise again via hidden stashes of "rebel gold" or the possibility that D.B. Cooper was a disgruntled airline employee hiding in plain sight, Meltzer alludes to the kind of ramshackle yet potent cabals that animate pop-culture works like The Da Vinci Code or the National Treasure movies. (Yet the author often steps in to reject the wilder claims he encounters--e.g., that the good deeds of the Freemasons conceal "a secret core of leaders who control and guide the organization towards far darker goals.") Regarding presidential assassinations, Meltzer first grabs the reader's attention by asserting that without a DNA investigation, "we'll never know for sure whether John Wilkes Booth died in 1865." He regards the JFK assassination as so complex that he walks readers through 10 separate purported conspiracies within it. The prose is lively and casually amusing, peppered with asides regarding the sheer wackiness of these hidden tales (e.g., in his supposed quest for the Spear of Destiny, Hitler was "looking to steal a page from the super-villain playbook"), making these compact narratives seem breezily accessible but also less intellectually weighty. Slick and engaging but lightweight--a good impulse read for fans of secret histories.

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    October 1, 2013
    Meltzer, the popular author of such conspiracy-minded thrillers as The Tenth Justice (1997), has also been the host of Brad Meltzer's Decoded, a History Channel series about conspiracy theories and secret codes. Drawing from the series, this intriguing volume looks at the biggies, among them the mystery surrounding the death of John Wilkes Booth (Did Lincoln's murderer really die in the days after the assassination?); Area 51, the top-secret Nevada site often associated with UFOs (Does the American government have proof of extraterrestrial visitation?); and skyjacker D. B. Cooper (Has his real identity been uncovered?). Meltzer gains credibility by not being afraid to admit that definitive answers are elusive. This isn't one of those conspiracy books that pretends to look at all the evidence, all the while offering a conclusion based on its author's agenda. The goal here is to assess the evidence behind these historical mysteries, to separate (where possible) fact from speculation, and to see where we stand. We leave the book no more certain about the truth than when we started, but with a lot to think about.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time
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