I appreciate Mr. Hewtson’s thoughtful and respectful letter in response to my rather savage review of his wife’s Jungle Rot: Jonestown, An American Holocaust. For what it’s worth, Mr. Hewtson’s reply is much more straightforward and articulate than the book that I reviewed. If this is what Rot was intended to convey, then almost all of it was lost in translation. The book would have been much more effective had the historical fiction portion been simply omitted; Ms. Hewtson could have simply expanded upon her afterword to explain how and why she thought Jonestown happened. It would have been simple, clearer, and more effective. That is not to say I would agree with all or even most of the author’s views, but I would have greater respect for the way in which those views were conveyed.
– Katherine Hill