In 1977, Jim Jones convinced more than 900 people to move from their base in Northern California to the South American country of Guyana. Jeff Guinn joins us to talk about how this charismatic cult leader from Indiana controlled his followers lives – and delivered them to their deaths – which he writes about in “The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple” (Simon & Schuster). Guinn will take part in this weekend’s Dallas Book Festival at the Dallas Public Library’s Central Library.
Jeff Guinn on …
… how Jim Jones attracted followers:
“The thing about Jim Jones is he had appeal to a wide variety of people. And he knew how to take on any character to make sure that whatever audience he was addressing would think that he really empathized. He was right there. He understood them. And that’s a gift. It’s a gift that just about all demagogs have. What Jones had in common with all demagogs is at some point he’s going to lead his followers to disaster.”
Also » Read more about author Jeff Guinn and his book on Dallas Morning News: A Texas author travels to Jonestown’s heart of darkness for his new book