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A startling work of historical sleuthing and synthesis, Of Fear and Strangers reveals the forgotten histories of xenophobia--and what they mean for us today.
By 2016, it was impossible to ignore an international resurgence of xenophobia. What had happened? Looking for clues, psychiatrist and historian George Makari started out in search of the idea's origins. To his astonishment, he discovered an unfolding series of never-told stories. While a fear and hatred of strangers may be ancient, he found that the notion of a dangerous bias called xenophobia arose not so long ago.
Coined by late nineteenth-century doctors and political commentators and popularized by an eccentric stenographer, xenophobia emerged alongside Western nationalism, colonialism, mass migration, and genocide. In this groundbreaking work, the author investigates these forces alongside the writings of figures such as Joseph Conrad, Albert Camus, and Richard Wright, and innovators like Walter Lippmann, Sigmund Freud, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Frantz Fanon. In the end, Of Fear and Strangers pulls together the most critical contributions, to help us comprehend the New Xenophobia we now face.