This is Jon Ronson's second dip into investigating wackiness; I liked his previous book THEM quite a bit. This one isn't quite as good, jumping around quite a bit in time, space, and topic. It's mainly about the US military's forays into unconventional methods of waging war. The goats in the book's title lived at Fort Bragg, and were the subject of all sort of nasty military research, including psychic warfare: people would attempt to get a goat's heart to stop just by staring at it.
But that's just one of the items discussed here. Ronson has a knack of digging out all sorts of unconventionally-thinking people, some at the fringes of respectability, others well outside. He gets them all to talk. Topics visited include the Branch Davidian siege in Waco; Guantanamo; Abu Ghraib; the Heaven's Gate suicides; the CIA's MK-ULTRA experiments. Uri Geller and Art Bell make appearances.
Ronson seems a little credulous at times, but that could well be one of the tactics to get his subjects to open up. It's amazing that so many … um … unconventional thinkers have been able to get the military to take their ideas seriously.