A History of Who Scares Us and Why
What political panics—from the Salem witch trials to the TeaParty—can tell us about our modern society
In American Panic, New York Times bestselling author Mark Stein traces thehistory and consequences of American political panics through the years.Virtually every American, on one level or another, falls victim to the hype,intensity, and propaganda that accompany political panic, regardless of theirown personal affiliations. By highlighting the similarities between Americanpolitical panics from the Salem witch trials to present-day vehemence over issuessuch as Latino immigration, gay marriage, and the construction of mosques,Stein closely examines just what it is that causes us as a nation to overreactin the face of widespread and potentially profound change. This book alsodevotes chapters to African Americans, Native Americans, Catholics, Mormons,Jews, Chinese and Japanese peoples, communists, capitalists, women, and ahighly turbulent but largely forgotten panic over freemasons. Strikingsimilarities in these diverse episodes are revealed in primary documents Steinhas unearthed, in which statements from the past could easily be mistaken forstatements today. As these similarities come to light, Stein reveals why somepeople become panicked over particular issues when others do not.