A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

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Simon and Schuster, Oct 11, 2011 - History - 320 pages
In 1954, a pastor named Jim Jones opened a church in Indianapolis called Peoples Temple Full Gospel Church. He was a charismatic preacher with idealistic beliefs, and he quickly filled his pews with an audience eager to hear his sermons on social justice. As Jones’s behavior became erratic and his message more ominous, his followers leaned on each other to recapture the sense of equality that had drawn them to his church. But even as the congregation thrived, Jones made it increasingly difficult for members to leave. By the time Jones moved his congregation to a remote jungle in Guyana and the US government began to investigate allegations of abuse and false imprisonment in Jonestown, it was too late.

A Thousand Lives is the story of Jonestown as it has never been told. New York Times bestselling author Julia Scheeres drew from tens of thousands of recently declassified FBI documents and audiotapes, as well as rare videos and interviews, to piece together an unprecedented and compelling history of the doomed camp, focusing on the people who lived there.

The people who built Jonestown wanted to forge a better life for themselves and their children. In South America, however, they found themselves trapped in Jonestown and cut off from the outside world as their leader goaded them toward committing “revolutionary suicide” and deprived them of food, sleep, and hope. Vividly written and impossible to forget, A Thousand Lives is a story of blind loyalty and daring escapes, of corrupted ideals and senseless, haunting loss.
 

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User Review  - bnbookgirl - LibraryThing

Wow, what a heartbreaking story. I have read articles and watched documentaries about Jonestown, but for some reason this book really brought the tragedy to the forefront of the mind. I don't ... Read full review

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User Review  - greeniezona - LibraryThing

I heard about this book in an article calling people out for using the phrase "drinking the Kool-aid" without knowing the full story of its origins. The article must have been convincing because I put ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter
1
Redwood Valley
14
Dad
23
Edith
29
Traitors
39
Exodus
48
Pioneers
59
The Promised Land
71
Relatives
162
The Embassy
168
Control
174
Escape
184
Chaos
189
November
200
Ryan
206
End
223

Georgetown
81
Siege
87
BulletstoKill Bumblebees
106
Concern
114
Control
125
Release
136
Drill
143
Hyacinth
153
Bodies
235
Survivors
240
Notes
251
Acknowledgments
293
Index
295
14
299
81
305
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About the author (2011)

Julia Scheeres is the author of New York Times bestselling memoir Jesus Land. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two daughters and is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.

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