In-Flight Reading: Conspiracy by Ryan Holiday

Let’s kick my In-flight Reading series back up.  In-flight Reading is a series all about books that I’ve read (whether in the air or on the ground) which may make for an interesting read on your next flight.

This edition will cover a new book by one of my favorite authors: Conspiracy:  Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue by Ryan Holiday

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I was fascinated, as many of you probably were, in March 2016, when a jury awarded Hulk Hogan $140 million in damages in his lawsuit against gossip-blog  I was even more fascinated when it was revealed a few days later that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel had bankrolled Hogan’s suit.  I read a few articles here and there and that was kind of the end of it…before the past couple of weeks.

Ryan Holiday is one of my favorite authors.  His Trust Me, I’m Lying book about his self-confessed media manipulation is an incredibly important read, especially in the “Fake News Hysteria” of the modern age.  He very capably takes unknown concepts, usually lying slightly beneath the surface or in the shadows, and brings them to life with an approachable and simple writing style.

Conspiracy takes a look at the various elements of a conspiracy (taken mostly from The Prince by Machiavelli) and uses one of the only true conspiracies we know about to illustrate it.  This book was more than a retelling of events which occurred, Holiday has access to all the major players and clearly explains the motivations, the threats (not only to the case but to the conspiracy itself), and the hazy conclusions we’ve reached as a culture since then.

If you’re into books like this, not as much True Crime as it is a modern-day factual retelling of a very recent and true event, absolutely read Conspiracy.  There are certain areas in the middle which spend a bit too much time on the retelling of facts instead of weaving them into a cohesive narrative but it kept my interest throughout and made for a very entertaining and surprisingly introspective read!

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