Us vs. Them

What do George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth, the Rothschilds, Bob Hope and, er, country singer Boxcar Willie have in common? According to footballer-turned-conspiracy theorist David Icke, they are all giant, blood-drinking lizards who secretly control the world. Icke's outlandish views feature in British journalist Jon Ronson's Them: Adventures with Extremists (Picador; 337 pages), an entertaining and thought-provoking attempt to understand the mindset of some of the world's political and religious fringe-dwellers — Ku Klux Klansmen, neo-Nazi militias and Islamic fundamentalists.

What started as a series of profiles quickly became something stranger, writes Ronson, when he realized that this...

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