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Jesse Walker (born September 4, 1970) is books editor of Reason magazine. The University of Michigan alumnus has written the books The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory (HarperCollins, 2013) and Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America (NYU Press, 2001), and he maintains a blog called The Perpetual Three-Dot Column. His articles have appeared in a number of publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Salon, The New Republic, Politico, L.A. Times, L.A. Weekly, Chronicles, Boing Boing, No Depression, and the Journal of American Studies.
Walker's writings display a definite libertarian bent, and he has cast a protest vote for the Libertarian Party's nominee in every presidential election of his adult lifetime except one, though "more often than not, I think they've put up a terrible candidate."
Walker was critical of the War on Terror and opposed the Patriot Act. He has stated that it is a myth that the U.S. pursued an "isolationist" foreign policy between World War I and World War II.
He has identified five kinds of conspiracy theories:
- The "Enemy Outside" refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without.
- The "Enemy Within" finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens.
- The "Enemy Above" involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain.
- The "Enemy Below" features the lower classes working to overturn the social order.
- The "Benevolent Conspiracies" are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.
- "Every Man a Sultan: Indigenous Responses to the Somalia Crisis". Telos 103 (Spring 1995). New York: Telos Press.
- Reason Magazine on-line staff biography, retrieved November 24, 2014
- Walker, Jesse and Chris Hayes (2012-10-03) MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Reason’s Jesse Walker on What Tonight’s Debate Really Needs Archived 2012-10-07 at the Wayback Machine, New York
- "We're Not Winning the War on Terrorism". 11 September 2002.
- "Terrorism, Security, and Slippery Slopes". 10 February 2003.
- "The Myth of Isolationism". 5 April 2017.
- Jesse Walker, The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory (2013) excerpt and text search
- Perpetual Three-Dot Column
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- No Depression archive
- NPR Interview, "Suspicious? In 'United States Of Paranoia,' It's Not Just You"
- Nieman Lab Interview, "The history of American conspiracy theories holds some lessons for fake news debunkers, says Jesse Walker"
- Vice Interview, "America’s Not-So-Secret Paranoid Underbelly"
- The Atlantic, "How Russian Trolls Imitate American Political Dysfunction"
- The New Republic, "All the President’s Phantoms"