Book of the Month

American PanicAmerican Panic: A History of Who Scares Us and Why

Over the last few months, I had the opportunity to review an interesting title by Mark Stein called American Panic: A History of Who Scares Us and Why, published by Palgrave Macmillan.  While not strictly historical in the sense that most of the reviews on this blog have been, this actually turned out to be a really interesting read. Let’s jump in and take a closer look!


About the Book

You might have heard of Mark Stein for his previous works such as How the States Got Their Shapes or even his film and television work for CBS and NBC*. This work however, is unique because of the singular focus on one topic: PANIC!  It seems that all of the time, Americans are always worried about our country.  Either it’s war, financial problems or something else, as in the case that Mark Stein presents to us here.

Unlike financial panics, as in the Panic of 1893 or something a bit more recent as Black Monday in 1987, Stein concentrates on the various state of supposed emergencies brought about by introduction of immigrants, religions and other culture-changing events into the United States over the last few centuries.  From the Communist Party to the chapter on women’s suffrage, it really made me think about my perceptions of history and how these groups and movements have changed it.

Contents and Chapters

Given the composition of the title I’ve spoken about so far, the chapters in his work are far reaching and encompass a variety of groups and movements, covering race, nationality, and religion.  This includes:

  • Native Americans
  • African-Americans
  • Freemasonry
  • Catholicism
  • Asian immigration
  • Women’s suffrage
  • Muslim/Islamic religion
  • Jewish religion

However, it’s not just a mishmash of historical facts and dates, but the context in which Stein puts together these various chapters which helps to form a cohesive look at things.


My Thoughts

This title contained both an extensive index and a very capable note section, making it easy to refer back to specific facts mentioned throughout.  Just a bit over 250 pages, it’s standard size and is available both as an eBook and hardback/paperback.  What follows are some links to more information and reviews.  Use this as a basis for your own review or information.

Book Information:

Macmillian Catalog Entry

Price: $27

Pages: 270+

ISBN: 9781137279026

Google Books Entry

OCLC WorldCat Entry

Kirkus Reviews

*Mark Stein on Wikipedia


Thanks again for stopping by the blog and I hope that you’ve enjoyed this particular review.

Stay Tuned!