A Thousand Lives

A Thousand Lives

The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

Book - 2011
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What started as a Utopian dream soon devolved into a terrifying work camp run by a madman, ending in the mass murder-suicide of 914 members in November 1978.
Publisher: New York : Free Press, 2011
Edition: 1st Free Press hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416596394
Call Number: 289.9 Sch22t
Characteristics: xii, 307 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm


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Sep 04, 2018

The author weaves together the stories of multiple victims of Jim Jones. Through the telling of why victims joined the People's Temple and then arrived in Guyana, a larger explanation of how this horrible incident happened is created. Since the story jumps around, it takes a bit of effort to keep track of all the characters. Overall, it is a great telling of a story that proves fact is stranger than fiction.

lbarkema Dec 26, 2014

HEAVY, but told so well. I had only heard fleetingly of the Jonestown mass-suicide before reading this, but it was something that intrigued me. Cults are such a foreign ideal to me that I always want to learn more about them. After reading this, I still could not answer why or how people still kept following Jim Jones after some of the unspeakable things that he does, but I understood a little more about how they might have been attracted to the idea of the People's Temple in the first place. A socially-just church who included ALL people, no matter their race or economic status (especially race during this time), was a huge draw to many people. It's just so sad that something that started off with the best intentions, turned into a horror-filled, disgusting cult under it's leadership.

The book itself is told just like a story, almost novel-like that it is almost hard to believe that this actually happened, that this wasn't just a made-up horror story. But then my curiosity got the better of me and I made the MISTAKE of checking out the video/audio on YouTube of the "last sermon" that was literally taking place as people are poisoning themselves and their innocent children and this whole topic left me feeling very, very hollow. Read this book if you are interested and can take it- the book is not what made me feel horrible, but please do not go looking up the video, it is truly eerie and terrible. Sorry everyone, just had to make that note.

Overall, a very good book written on a very serious topic.

Jun 24, 2013

This is the best book I've read about Jonestown so far. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in reading about the history of the People's Temple. You won't have to read any other books about this subject after reading this one.

Rhesa324 Jul 22, 2012

Heart-breaking story

debwalker Nov 13, 2011

How could so many people be so deluded? Disturbing story of what went down at Jonestown.

Nov 13, 2011

quite a story.


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