Dear People: Remembering Jonestown : Selections from the Peoples Temple Collection at the California Historical Society

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Denice Stephenson
California Historical Society Press, Jan 1, 2005 - History - 171 pages
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Cultural Writing. In DEAR PEOPLE: REMEMBERING JONESTOWN, The heartbreaking tragedy of Jonestown--and the idealistic community movement that preceded it--are presented in text and photos from teh Peoples Temple Archive. In November of 1978 the world recoiled in shock when the news first spread from Jonestown that more than nine hundred people were dead in a horrendous mass suicide. Over twenty-five years later, the tragedy and appeal of the Peoples Temple still puzzles us. Using letters, oral histories, poems, and newsletters, researcher Denise Stephenson has compiled a sensitive account of the community's growth and self-destruction, chronicling the Reverend Jones's move from progressive Christianity to paranoid utopianism. These documents provide moving insight not just into this historic event but into the larger issues of human yearning, of our capacity for hope and delusion, of the willingness of people to submerge themselves into a movement or charismatic leader that they give up freedom

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