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Cults Like Us

How Doomsday Drives America

About The Book

For fans of Fantasyland, The Road to Jonestown, and Howard Zinn, a colorful and enlightening pop history of American doomsday belief that proposes that the United States is the largest cult of all.

Since the Mayflower sidled up to Plymouth Rock, cult ideology—whether among the Mormons and Oneidans of old or LuLaRoe and NXIVM today—has been ingrained in the DNA of the United States. In this eye-opening book, Jane Borden argues that we got this way because we always were.

Puritan doomsday belief never went away; it just went secular and became American culture. From our fascination with cowboys and superheroes to our undying love for capitalism and violence, and our obsessions with advertising, hard work, and self-help, the United States remains a breeding ground for cult-like thinking. With compelling insight, Borden uncovers the American history you didn’t get in school, including how these ideas still brainwash us today and make us a nation of easy marks for con artists and strong men. Along the way, she highlights some of the most infamous cults in this country—including, the Branch Davidians and Love Has Won—as integral parts of our psyche and reflections of their times.

About The Author

Justin Chung

Jane Borden is an author and culture journalist. She is the author of Cults Like Us and I Totally Meant to Do That. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Refinery29, The Washington Post, and other publications. She lives in Los Angeles. Find out more at  

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria/One Signal Publishers (March 25, 2025)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781668007815

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