Like conspiracies? Meltzer’s book is full of them

March 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Books

Reviewed by Kellie Nunley, BCPL Technical Services supervisor

In his book, History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time, Brad Meltzer has compiled an irresistible combination of history and the most notorious conspiracies in America’s past. Whether you are a fan of the popular TV show, Decoded, or are just a history buff, you will be entertained by this book.

Meltzer leads readers through the process of interviewing experts and analyzing documents in an entertaining way. And, if you are a conspiracy theorist, you’ll probably want to dig deeper into some things he writes about.

Let’s start with the mystery surrounding the death of John Wilkes Booth. Did the most famous assassin in American history live for 40 more years? What about the $20 million in Confederate gold and silver that vanished at the end of the Civil War? Meltzer discusses them at length.

Learn the mysteries surrounding the Georgian Guidestones (American’s Stonehenge). Or about D.B. Cooper – one of the most famous American outlaws … did he confess his real identity on his deathbed?

What about the cornerstone of democracy; is it missing? Is it so small you could carry it, or is it something massive? No matter the size, it is considered the first piece of the most important government building in Washington D.C. – the White House.

Meltzer’s book also takes a look at the Spear of Destiny, the one mentioned in the Bible as having been used to stab Christ, and believed by some to hold mystical powers. The spear has been hunted by everyone from Napoleon to Hitler.

Fans of the Da Vinci Code will love Meltzer’s theories surrounding Leonardo da Vinci’s prediction of an apocalypse and fascinated by his predictions that have already come true.

Believe it or not, one of the top 10 conspiracy theories has its roots right here in Kentucky. Did you know no one has seen the gold in Fort Knox since 1974? If the gold is gone, where did it go, what was it used for, and what are the soldiers stationed there now protecting?

But perhaps no place in America is more secretive than Roswell and the famous Area 51. Are there really UFOs? What is the government doing out there in the middle of the desert?  One of the most interesting sections of the book, to me, is Bob Lazar’s story about Area 51, but you’ll just have to read the book to find out more.

Coming in at number one on Meltzer’s list is the Kennedy assassination. The author says he has received more email and Facebook requests about the assassination of JFK than any other conspiracy/mystery out there. There is so much complexity to this conspiracy that Meltzer broke it down into sections; the Grassy Knoll, the magic bullet, films about the JFK assassination and much more.

Each chapter has an interactive experience with documents, evidence, and interviews and although there are no definitive conclusions about any of the conspiracies, it is a fun and entertaining read for history buffs, conspiracy theorists or just “normal” folk like you and me.

History Decoded by Brad Meltzer can be checked out at Boyd County Public Library in print or digital format. It is also available through BCPL’s new 3M Cloud Library. You can download the 3M Cloud app, and the BCPL Mobile app, from your favorite download store, for free, and read it from your computer, phone, tablet, or other device.




Leigh Scaggs

About Leigh Scaggs

A long time supporter of digital emancipation and proclaimer of obfuscatory testaments, I have been a proud supporter of bits and bytes for nearly 20 years. With that much chronological highway behind me I'm cognizant enough of the fact that advancing age does kill brain cells and observant enough to notice that it's only killing the weak ones.

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