Book Culture 112th: George Makari

Event date: 
11/11/2021 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm

Join us Thursday, November 11th at 7:30pm at Book Culture on 112th for a conversation with George Makari celebrate the recent release of Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia

In order to facilitate an in-person author event, we will be closing the second floor starting at 7pm. Please review our COVID-19 Safety guidelines. 


or register using the following link:

About Of Fear and Strangers:

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. Makari chronicles the concept’s rise, from its popularization and perverse misuse to its spread as an ethical principle in the wake of a series of calamites that culminated in the Holocaust, and its sudden reappearance in the twenty-first century. He investigates xenophobia’s evolution through 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. Weaving together history, philosophy, and psychology, Makari offers insights into varied, related ideas such as the conditioned response, the stereotype, projection, the Authoritarian Personality, the Other, and institutional bias.

Masterful, original, and elegantly written, Of Fear and Strangers offers us a unifying paradigm by which we might more clearly comprehend how irrational anxiety and contests over identity sweep up groups and lead to the dark headlines of division so prevalent today.

George Makari is a psychiatrist, historian, and the author of Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind and, most recently, Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia. Director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute and professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, he lives in New York City.

Event address: 
Book Culture
536 West 112th St
New York, NY 10025
Can't make it? Reserve a signed copy by calling our store today: 
Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393652000
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 14th, 2021

Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393353464
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 29th, 2016