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  • Road to Jonestown

  • Jim Jones and Peoples Temple
  • By: Jeff Guinn
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (247 ratings)

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Road to Jonestown cover art

Road to Jonestown

By: Jeff Guinn
Narrated by: George Newbern
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Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Manson comes 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' life, from his extramarital affairs, drug use, and fraudulent faith healing to the fraught decision to move almost 1,000 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 900 people died - including almost 300 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' 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' orders. The Road to Jonestown is the definitive book about Jim Jones and the events that led to the tragedy at Jonestown.

©2017 Jeff Guinn (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Road to Jonestown

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couldn't stop listening

the story is so crazy its nearly hard to comprehend. how it gets from innocent beginnings to that fateful day in Guatemala is an amazing story and one ill think about a lot in the next few days. really worth the listen as the story building up to the tragedy is a real trip in it's self.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

By the end of this audio book I was glad I had persevered and listened to it all. However, it does seem to drag in parts with detailed accounts of the upbringing and background of Jim Jones and some others. It is worth sticking with it, but I did feel disappointed that the chapters on events in Jonestown were left to the last 8 or so chapters and I would have enjoyed more details about how once they arrived at Jonestown the 918 who died had slowly been lead to their deaths. I was also disappointed that they skipped over the old lady who slept through the events that night presumed dead, as I have read other information about how she woke up to find the bodies. More information on her would have been an interesting addition.

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1 person found this helpful

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The definitive book on Jim & The Peoples Temple.

I've delved into a lot of information on Jonestown over the years. From 5 hour long podcasts to TV documentaries and this is by far the best coverage of Jim's life and also the lives followers I've come across. It's got a perfect balance of readability and detail. If you are interested in anything to do with Jonestown you'll find it here.

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Superb!

Fabulously narrated, a very respectful telling of what must have been a very difficult story to read. Wonderfully written, if you like learning about this sort of thing, ( which I really do! ) then I 100 percent recommend. Not enough stars here! Simply a great book, very educational, fascinating read.

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Excellent audiobook

A great insight into the rise and fall of Jim Jones, the book was great at making me want to research more into the events leading up to Jonestown. Great performance, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject or cults in general.

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Lovely reader

I knew the story in depth and still enjoyed the book.
Terrible story. Listening to the book helps understand why this happened.

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Enlightening

I had only heard the headline points about Jonestown prior to listening to this book. The whole story has amazing background history on the individuals involved in the story.

The story seems balanced in the reporting and handles horrific incidents with respect.

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A detailed analysis

The book has lots of detail about the growth of Peoples Temple, and provides an insight into the gradual shift from well-meaning church to full-blown cult.

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Tragic story

Very insightful book into one of the greatest tragedies of living memory. Jim Jones was the ultimate manipulator

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excellent account

I went into this not knowing much about it. I was recommended it by a bookstagram friend. Such a sad story. Those poor people man, and why did the children have to go first? Broke me.

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