The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple || Book Review

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Author: Jeff Guinn

Platform: Audible

As someone who has long been reading serial killers, mass murderers, and cult, I didn’t expect to hear anything new from this book. I have read about Jim Jones and watched plenty of documentaries, but it’s clear to me now that the impact of Jonestown can never be dampened.

If you’re interested in picking up this book in the hopes of gory details and pages teeming with depravity, you’ll be disappointed. The Road to Jonestown is a historical (and political) account of the history of Peoples Temple.

I personally don’t like the word cult. Being anti-religion, I have always been intrigued by it. And I am of the firm opinion that the word cult is used by people to separate their church from the negativity. But cults are normally branches of established religious communities. Because of the stigma bias associated with the term cult, you may be surprised by this book.

Peoples Temple was a branch of Christianity that focused on socialism. They helped further black rights in the United States and promoted equality within the church and without. They were good people, not monsters. Not idiots. They were husbands, wives, sisters, mothers, friends, and children.

So what went wrong? 

This book extraordinarily details the roots of Peoples Temple and Jim Jone’s slow disillusion into madness. It’s surprising, sad, and a little cringe-worthy at times, and I enjoyed every minute of it. So leave your pre-conceived bias’ at the door, and get to know Peoples Temple and how the tragedy at Jonestown came to be.

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