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Big Man Walking

“Not many people change the world. Fewer still are thanked for it.” – Neal Ascherson reviews a biography of Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, who joined that small group when he helped to bring about its end.

Flat Earthers and the Psychology Behind Conspiracy Theories

The piece asks why conspiracy theories gain so much traction, and finds that good stories, and the clarity they offer, are at least part of the answer. The author asserts that conspiracy theories share the same attraction to us as science fiction narratives that find “pattern and meaning in this senseless racket of life”.