The Essential 1970s Conspiracy Thrillers

I have an
up at io9 listing 10 essential 1970s
conspiracy thrillers. From the opening:

And the Academy Award for the best use of a picture of Thor in a feature film goes to...Techno-paranoia has become the
norm in our post-Snowden world, and hit shows like Person of
play on our fears of being watched. But the high-tech
conspiracy tale has its roots in the 1970s, which saw a great wave
of movies about assassins, surveillance, secret governments, and
corporate cabals. The result was a decade’s worth of paranoid
thrillers, many of them extremely entertaining….

Between the Watergate scandal and a series of ugly revelations
about the CIA, the FBI, and other federal agencies, the public was
more receptive to stories where the country’s leaders were the
villains. And with the rise of the so-called New Hollywood, a
younger, more countercultural group of filmmakers was ready to
deliver them.

These aren’t the best ’70s conspiracy thrillers—a couple
of them aren’t all that good, though they’re worth watching for
other reasons. They’re just the essential ones: necessary stops on
any extended tour of the genre.

The article is pegged to my book
The United States of Paranoia
, which discusses most of
these movies and much else besides. It’s been a while since I last
posted a roundup of United States of Paranoia coverage, so
here’s a few of the highlights from the last month or two:

• The Chicago Tribune included it in its
of 2013’s best books.

Boing Boing‘s podcast You Are Not So Smart

interviewed me
about it.

• Ed Driscoll
invoked it
 while discussing how “Beltway and Northeast
Corridor elites have plenty of conspiracy theories of their

• Arthur Goldwag, who had already posted one
of the book on his personal blog, published another

about it in The Washington Spectator. If you
read the piece, be sure to check the comments, where I take issue
with how he interpreted a part of the text.

from Hit & Run

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