The Road to Jonestown

The Road to Jonestown

Jim Jones and Peoples Temple

Large Print - 2017
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By the New York Times bestselling author of Manson , the comprehensive, authoritative, and tragic story of preacher Jim Jones, who was responsible for the Jonestown Massacre the largest murder-suicide in American history.
In the 1950s, a young Indianapolis minister named Jim Jones preached a curious blend of the gospel and Marxism. His congregation was racially integrated, and he was a much-lauded leader in the contemporary civil rights movement. Eventually, Jones moved his church, Peoples Temple, to northern California. He became involved in electoral politics, and soon was a prominent Bay Area leader.
In this riveting narrative, Jeff Guinn examines Jones s life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost a thousand of his followers to a settlement in the jungles of Guyana in South America. 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 infants and children after being ordered to swallow a cyanide-laced drink.
Guinn examined thousands of pages of FBI files on the case, including material released during the course of his research. He traveled to Jones s Indiana hometown, where he spoke to people never previously interviewed, and uncovered fresh information from Jonestown survivors. He even visited the Jonestown site with the same pilot who flew there the day that Congressman Leo Ryan was murdered on Jones s orders. The Road to Jonestown is the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown."
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2017
Edition: Large print ed
ISBN: 9781410498656
Characteristics: ix, 955 p. (large print) : ill. ; 24 cm

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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.

f
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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