The Road to Jonestown

The Road to Jonestown

Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

Large Print - 2017 | Large print edition.
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A New York Times Bestselling AuthorThe bestselling author of Manson offers a comprehensive, authoritative, and tragic account of the life of Jim Jones and his church, Peoples Temple. 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 children -- after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, [2017]
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410498656
Branch Call Number: Large Print 289.9 Jones-G
Characteristics: ix, 955 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 24 cm

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i wonder if it is suspect now to think while yer growing up that yer great, and going to do great things, or is this only relevant in a negative sense if the reviewer has the advantage of the retrospective point of view? Or is the reviewer only echoing the perspective of the author? The cover photo is annoying to me: Jim Jones, flashing a peace sign. Is this intended to, or does it indeed do, malign the Peace Movement? (If one wrote a book on Charlie Manson, and had a similar cover, would that be the intent?) Am I to assume that Ringo Starr, because he is prone to flashing the peace sign, is akin to the two above-named monsters? I knew someone, albeit slightly, who feared Jim Jones' hit squads, after the mass suicide. When I heard in the news that a family had been murdered in Berkeley, I knew that had to be her. Telling me it was going to occur, she had shrugged, saying there was no way to stop it. I am so sorry I could not offer any help then; I was only a salesman, and very young. Now, I am less and have to wonder whether I could even help her today. Untold also is the effect he had on San Francisco liberal politics: he had the willing workers, could get out the vote for the Demon Cats. It wasn't much later that the mayor and the gay supervisor were murdered, in City Hall. connections, anyone? if you make a deal with the devil, you often rue that day......

Cynthia_N Jan 04, 2018

Slow read but very interesting! I can understand the attraction of Jones and his church in the beginning. His church was very much a socialist organization and took care of every member. Are you attending a local college? We will pay the tuition for you. Are you homeless? We have a home where you can stay. Is money tight and your children have outgrown their clothes? We have clothes you can have. Are you elderly with no one to care for you? We will take care of you. Of course, it did change over the years and become much more controlling and isolating. Good read!

ellensix Dec 14, 2017

This book really opened my eyes to all the constructive things that Rev. Jim Jones did with the People's Temple. Then it all went pear-shaped. (The Temple, not the book)

t
Tina31966
Sep 21, 2017

I remember being 8 or 9 when this happened and I was like how could people believe a mere mortal man? It wasn't until now as an adult and reading how Rev. Jones's followers were brainwashed can one fully understand how people will believe anything a Pastor (cult leader) will say.

l
lukasevansherman
Jul 18, 2017

"We didn't commit suicide. We committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world."-Jim Jones
Even if they don't know the origin, most people know the phrase "Don't drink the Kool-Aid." In reality, it was an off brand, which is one of the things you'll learn in this exhaustive and long (close to 500 pages) look at the tragedy of Jonestown. Jeff Guin, who has also written about Charles Manson, delves into the childhood of Jones and the rise of his church, the Peoples Temple, which initially was idealistic and committed to racial and social equality. Despite the extensive research, I finished the book without much a sense of who Jones was and why so many people blindly followed him, even into death. It does provide a fresh take on the events, but could've been shorter and more insightful. There's also "Hearing the Voices of Jonestown," which takes the victims' perspective and the film "The Sacrament," which is a fictionalized version of the story.

m
MplsTA
Jul 16, 2017

Jonestown may be long gone and covered by an overgrown jungle in Guyana but the story lives on.

This book lets the reader know the real Jim Jones from childhood to his suicide in Jonestown. It also covers the success of his churches, how he funded them and why he felt he had to leave the United States. He was a strange, dark man that influenced a lot of people- having control of his follower's faith, finances, families and in the end their very lives.
The author does a very good job describing what happened near the end of Jonestown such as who got killed by Jones' people (such as Congressman Leo Ryan) and the followers and others that managed to get away.
Of interest to me was how much Jones (and his church) was worth on paper. Jones' camp was run very frugally without indoor plumbing, running a generator for electricity and rarely enough food for his followers. In reality, millions were hidden in accounts around the world in Jones name. Some were never recovered.

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fledge
May 06, 2017

Jim Jones was strange from childhood, a person who believed in reincarnation – he thought he was the rebirth of Buddha and Lenin – and a person who was convinced he would do great things as a great man. He was a first-class charlatan and a fraud, using chicken guts through sleight of hand to “prove” that he had excised cancer from its sufferers. He was driven by a need to be in total control. Money, sex, and power were his great lusts, which he indulged in to suit his wants. He was charming, convincing, and dedicated, able to lead 900 people to mass murder and suicide. An excellent book. Recommended.

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