Blog Chaos by Tom O'Neill book review

Chaos by Tom O'Neill book review

Posted Sept. 1, 2019, 10:25 a.m. by T

Advertisement
KFAI - Undead

Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties

Tom O’Neill

Penguin / William Heinemann

 

I think it is safe to say that Charles Manson, the case around him, the man, the myth, the legend will always have a place on the firmament of Western pop culture.

While there have been a myriad of books on his story and its implications – some more reliable than others – this solid tome by the journalist Tom O’Neill is based on decades of research on the fraudulent Manson trial, shedding light on the covert influences of the 1960s and how the shaping of a nation was manifested through the manoeuvring of intelligence agencies.

The book continues where Sanders’ The Family and Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter stopped and while there is a good share of what could be considered conspiracy theories apart from the known facts about Manson’s unholy odyssey, the attention to detail and interpretation of events gives reason to believe that Manson had a lot more going on in than anyone ever could fathom and that there was more to what was portrayed as motiveless murders.

Tom O’Neill examines the involvement LAPD and the FBI, and microscopically analyses how they not only contributed to muddying the waters but – as with the CIA – played an integral role in creating fertile ground through experiments with hallucinogenic drugs.

Even for the initiated, there should be an array of new facts and theories to discover that give Tom O’Neill’s approach credibility, yet it at times borders on the fantastic and sensationalism, a e.g. when details are shared about characters that were involved in the lead up and the trial itself.

Needless to say that Tom O’Neill does not resolve all the mysteries and unanswered questions, but his fascination, meticulous research and obsession raises a lot of interesting questions about facets and the narrative of the Manson case that so far have been largely and perhaps deliberately ignored, which makes for an intriguing read.

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Water of Life – Launceston Distillery

Posted by T
May 3, 2021, 8:52 p.m.

Water of Life – Launceston Distillery   Our coverage of the Tasmanian whiskey landscape have mainly been focussed on Hobart and its surroundings, which could be perceived as one of ... read more

High Adventures in the Great Outdoors – Lonely Pla

Posted by T
May 2, 2021, 11:30 a.m.

High Adventures in the Great Outdoors – Lonely Planet   It has been almost fifty years since Lonely Planet was incepted, following Maureen and Tony Wheeler’s trip across Europe, Asia ... read more

We Have Always Been Minimalist book review

Posted by T
May 1, 2021, 8:06 p.m.

We Have Always Been Minimalist The Construction and Triumph of a Musical Style Christophe Levaux   Minimalism has always intrigued me – specifically in the realm of music. Having emerged ... read more

Water of Life – Martini

Posted by T
April 29, 2021, 6:11 p.m.

Water of Life Martini (Applewood Coral Gin and Regal Rogue) There are a myriad of cocktails but only few reliable ones that I’d confidently order in the more remote corners ... read more

Search/Play/Repeat - April 2021

Posted by Loren
April 28, 2021, 9:10 p.m.

Welcome to Search/Play/Repeat, a playlist blog here at SPB. Aaron normally posts these, but he’s working on some other fun stuff so I figured I’d take a stab at it. ... read more

Advertisement
Spacecase Records - skyscraper
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.