Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon is a non-fiction book written by Lynda King, a freelance writer and community preparedness educator. The book was published in 2014 by Prepper Press and is available in paperback and e-book formats.
The book begins with a quote by General George S. Patton: “Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.” This is exactly what Part One of the book accomplishes as it provides a history lesson of US and world events (weather, political, cultural, economic) that give the reader an understanding that “preppers” are not a new phenomenon in our culture.
Part Two is titled “A Look at Modern Preppers.” Several chapters include topics such as how technology (like internet access) has influenced preparedness, a look at different events that people are prepping for, how people prepare, and the booming preparedness business marketplace.
The book is 306 pages long, but the last 50 pages make up the extensive list of references, a complete index, a basic prepper jargon glossary, a list of related websites, and information on prepper expos and conferences held around the country.
Many people think that “prepping” is a new thing, brought about in 1999 with the Y2K scare. The history as presented in this book shows that people have been preppers since at least Biblical days. Though I found the history presented fascinating, the direct link between the historical events and prepping were not directly made.
For example, the discussions of the Victory Gardens or the creation of the Civil Defense Councils were informative, but it is up to the reader to make the connection that these people should be considered early preppers. A few times, Ms. King mentions that those who were already living self-reliant lifestyles faired better than their less prepared counterparts, but I would have preferred a more specific link to be made in the text.
What Part One does very nicely is show the reader that our history is full of proof that bad things can and do happen, with alarming regularity. If someone ever asks why you are preparing for bad times, you’ll be armed with myriad historical facts to show that it’s not a possibility, but an inevitability that bad times will happen again.
The content of Part Two that discusses multiple aspects of the modern prepper was mostly filled with information that I, as an experienced prepper, felt like I already “knew” in my head, but hadn’t necessarily seen presented all in one place before. Fully understanding this content will make the reader more able to have articulate and intelligent discussions about the prepper movement.
This book reads like a textbook. That’s not to say it is boring or dry at all, but with the amount of historical content, inserted quotes and references, a lot of statistics, and a huge range of sources, I found it to be a much more intellectual read than the vast majority of other non-fiction preparedness books.
I recommend this book to the following people…
- To the reluctant newbie who would benefit from the historical content as proof that the world is predictably unpredictable and being prepared for hard times is essential.
- To the prepper-curious who wants to learn more about the subculture and motivations of the prepper community
- To the left-brained preppers who enjoy scholarly reads and want an excellent reference book on their shelf.
- To any preppers who are looking for a high quality book that is truly different than all the others in the non-fiction preparedness genre that seem to get churned out by the hour.
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