November 9, 2021

EP. 130 — What is Xenophobia Exactly? with George Makari

Human beings have long been afraid of the “other.” But is this fear ingrained in our psyche, or a product of our surroundings? And where does the word even come from? To answer, on the show this week is historian and psychiatrist George Makari. Check out his book Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia, at


FACT-130-20211108-Makari-RCv02-DYN.mp3 Speaker 1 [00:00:22] Hello and welcome to Factually. My name is Adam Conover. Thank you once again for joining me as I talk to another amazing expert from around the world of human knowledge about all the amazing shit that they know, that I don’t know and that you probably don’t know. My mind is going to be blown. Your mind is going to be blown. Our minds are going to be blown together. Today we are going to talk about xenophobia. See, humankind always seems to have a deep seated aversion to the other. We have a story that we tell ourselves about where this came from, a folk understanding of it. It goes something like this: long ago, in the cave person years, we used to live in tribes and those on the outside of our tribe were defacto threats. In the world of scarce resources and saber toothed everything, it made sense for our ancestors to pick up a club and bonk first, ask questions later. That story continues: to the way we talk abou

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