Nearly one thousand people died in Jonestown on November 18, 1978. Contrary to popular notions, they didn’t all freely “drink the Kool-Aid” that day. In A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown ($15.00), author Julia Scheeres reveals how the tragic end to Jonestown was planned by Jim Jones and his lieutenants for several years before it actually happened. Although the people who built the community wanted to forge a better life for themselves and their children, Jones never intended for them to succeed. He wanted them to die.
Nearly thirty-five years after the tragedy, the untold stories from Jonestown are still heart-breaking, inconceivable and haunting. This is not only the most thorough book on Jonestown that has ever been written; it is also a fascinating, powerful, and gripping work that belongs at the upper echelon of narrative nonfiction.
Julia Scheeres is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Jesus Land. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two daughters.