Tragedy Of 1978: Bibliography

by Rachel Steele

Primary Sources:

  • “Few Worshipers at Cult’s Temple,” New York Times, 4 December 1978.
    This article talks about after the massacre at Guyana. It talks about the church where the members of Peoples Temple would meet back in San Francisco, and how few members came to the services that Sunday.
  •,9171,912249,00.htmlTime Magazine, 4 December 1978 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct].
    This is an article about Jonestown from America’s viewpoint.  It includes information about Congressman Leo Ryan.
  • “Jonestown’s Survivors will face questioning by FBI agents,” Wall Street Journal, 27 November 1978
    This article was in the News section of the Wall Street Journal. It talked about  how FBI agents were getting ready to question survivors due to the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan.
  • McGehee, Fielding. Interview by author on Jonestown. Taped telephone conversation. Orem, Utah, 5 February 2007.
  • Moore, Rebecca. Interview by author on Jonestown. Taped telephone conversation. Orem, Utah, 7 February 2007.
  • —–.  The Jonestown Letters: Correspondence of the Moore Family 1970-1985.  Lewiston, NY:  The Edwin Mellen Press, 1986. pp. 367-369.
    This book includes letters which were sent back and forth between the Moore family, some of whom were in Jonestown.
  • Nordheimer, Jon. “Jersey Psychiatrist, Studying the Guyana Survivors, Fears Implications for U.S. Society From Other Cults” New York Times, 1 December 1978.
    This talks about a New Jersey psychiatrist who was in Guyana and examined the bodies and talked to the survivors.
  • Novak, Michael. “Jonestown: Socialism at Work,” Washington Star, 17 December 1978.
    This is an article that talked about how Peoples Temple was a socialist community rather than a religion.
  • —–. “Why Jonestown Destroyed the Family,” Washington Star, 30 December 1978.
    This was basically criticizing Jonestown and Jim Jones. It talked about all of the unusual things that Jim Jones did, and how it affected the people.


Secondary Sources:

  •  2-24-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct]
    This is where I found a picture of all of houses in Jonestown, and another of Jim Jones standing with children of different races.
  •  2-24-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct]
    This is where I found the picture of the tub of poison, and the bodies around it.
    This website includes many different links of information about Jonestown.  These include tapes, pamphlets written by Jim Jones, photographs, etc.  This is also where I read an article by Raul Kohl entitled The Tragedy of 1978, and an affidavit by Deborah Layton Blakey, an ex-member of Peoples Temple.
  • 1-31-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct].
    This site talks about the religion and history of Peoples Temple.
  •  2-24-07
    This is where I found a picture of Guyana.
  • 2-24-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct].
    This is where I found a Newsweek magazine cover displaying what happened in Jonestown.
  •  3-11-07.
    This website gave lots of historical and political information about Guyana. This is where I found who the Prime Minister/President of Guyana was during the time Peoples Temple was there.
  • 2-24-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct].
    This is where I found a picture of a black woman holding up a sign that says, “I Believe in Jim Jones.”
  • 1-04-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct].
    This talks about a book that Deborah Layton Blakey wrote after leavingPeoples Temple.
  • 2-24-07 [Editor’s note: This link is now defunct].
    This is where I got a picture of bodies lying on the ground.
  •  3-11-07.
    This displays a letter from John Judge written to Arianna Huffington regarding the Jonestown Dead.
  • Levi, Ken, ed. Violence and Religious Commitment: Implications of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple Movement. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1982. pre-pages 12-15.
    In this book I read a timeline of Peoples Temple, and it had some good information.
  • Lewis, Gordon K. Gather With the Saints at the River.  Rio Piedras:  Institute of Caribbean Studies, University of Puerto Rico, 1979.  p.10.
    What I read from this pamphlet talked about the slight triumph side of this event in history.
  • Maaga, Mary M.  Hearing the Voices of Jonestown. New York: Syracuse University Press, 1998. pp. 87-90.
    This talks about Jim Jones himself and the community he created.
  • Moore, Rebecca. A Sympathetic History of Jonestown: The Moore Family Involvement in the Peoples Temple. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1985. p.3.
    This is an account of when Rebecca Moore found out about her two sisters’ deaths at Jonestown.
  • Moore, Rebecca, Anthony B. Pinn, Mary R. Sawyer. eds. Peoples Temple and Black Religion in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004. pp. 166-189.
    This talks about  Peoples Temple-the religion itself.
  • Osherhow, Neal.  1-10-07.
    This tells about the Jonestown massacre.  It is a website you can find information about Guyana.
  • Reiterman, Tim, John Jacobs. Raven. New York: E. P. Dutton Inc., 1982. pp. pre-page, 1.
    This is an extensive book about Jim Jones’ life. I also found a good picture of a Peoples Temple Church.
  • Reston, James Jr. Our Father Who Art in Hell: The Life and Death of Jim Jones. New York: Times Books, 1981. pp. 158-159.
    The part that I read from this book showed different quotes that were promoting Peoples Temple. These quotes were said by high profile Americans, and the quotes were used in a pamphlet that was used as a sort of advertisement for Peoples Temple.
  • Weightman, Judith M. Making Sense of the Jonestown Suicides: A Sociological History of Peoples Temple. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1983. pp. pre-page, 1, 2, 3, 8, 15.
    This was helpful in giving me names of people who were actually in Guyana (Jonestown).


Originally posted on July 25th, 2013.

Last modified on June 5th, 2022.
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