The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 11, 2017 - Biography & Autobiography - 531 pages
2018 Edgar Award Finalist—Best Fact Crime
By the New York Times bestselling author of Manson, the comprehensive, authoritative, and tragic story of preacher Jim Jones, who was responsible for the Jonestown Massacre—the largest murder-suicide in American history.

In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader.

In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones’s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. Guinn provides stunning new details of the events leading to the fatal day in November, 1978 when more than nine hundred people died—including almost three hundred infants and children—after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.

Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones’s Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones’s orders. The Road to Jonestown is the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LibraryCin - LibraryThing

Jim Jones was the leader of the Peoples’ Temple. This is the group that, in November 1978, committed mass suicide in Guyana, by “drinking the Kool Aid” (it wasn’t actually Kool Aid, but a similar ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amcheri - LibraryThing

I loved Guinn's book on Charles Manson and found this one just as well researched and interesting. I admit that I had a tough time focusing on the book from about halfway on to the end but I think ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue Guyana November 1819 1978
1
CHAPTER ONE Lynetta and Jim
9
CHAPTER TWO Lynn
16
CHAPTER THREE Jimmy
23
CHAPTER FOUR Growing Up
30
CHAPTER SEVEN Jim and Marceline
50
CHAPTEREIGHT Beginnings
59
CHAPTER ELEVEN Gaining Influence
80
CHAPTER TWENTYFOUR Worker Bees
187
CHAPTER TWENTYSEVEN Drugs
212
CHAPTER TWENTYEIGHT Sex
221
CHAPTER THIRTYTHREE Narrow Escapes
254
CHAPTER FORTYTHREE New West
339
CHAPTER FORTYFOUR Jonestown
353
CHAPTER FORTYSEVEN Betrayals
390
CHAPTER FORTYEIGHT Unraveling
409

CHAPTER THIRTEEN All Races Together
91
CHAPTER FOURTEEN A Man to Be Reckoned With
99
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Looking West
120
CHAPTER TWENTYTHREE Money
181
Acknowledgments
469
Bibliography
505
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About the author (2017)

Jeff Guinn is the bestselling author of numerous books, including Go Down Together, The Last Gunfight, Manson, and The Road to Jonestown. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and is a member of the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.

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