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Acknowledgements, References, and Recommendations [For Terrified, Insecure, and Dying]


This book is written by a flawed, biased, but wholehearted person terribly afraid of death. And it would have been impossible without the support of the many people who continue to provide me with meaning, belonging, and purpose in this chaotic and decaying world.
First and foremost my family. Mom, Dad, and my older brother are the ones who encouraged and pushed me forward to pursue this odd life of thinking, writing, and imagining. My brother deserves a specific shoutout, as with a rare bout of rational clarity, he quickly pointed towards hope and possibility. For that, I thank you.
Next all of my Patrons and subscribers. This book was published entirely through the money generously gifted to me by my special Patrons: Gloria, Grace, Makito, Shion, James, Josiah, Abbey, Hannah, Nicole, Carol, Kayla, Martha, and more. Without your help, all of this would have been impossible.
I would also like to thank all the readers of my weekly newsletter who send feedback, critiques, and comments on the words I write. Every single word encourages me to continue to engage in this dialogue with the world.
And last to the readers of this book. Thank you for taking your time to read the book, please reach out to me with any responses, comments, or criticisms on my website. References and Further Reading

Chapter 1: Yali’s Unanswered Question and on the Origin of Conquest and Colonialism

Becker, E. (1973). The Denial of Death. The Free Press.
Becker, E. (1975). Escape from Evil. The Free Press.
Boehm, C. (2001). Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of Egalitarian Behavior. Harvard University Press.
Diamond, J. (1999). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W.W. Norton and Company.
Friedman, M., & Rholes, S. W. (2007). Successfully challenging fundamentalist beliefs results in increased death awareness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43(5), 794–801. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2006.07.008
Gowdy, J. (2020). Our hunter-gatherer future: Climate change, agriculture and uncivilization. Futures, 115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2019.102488
Graeber, D., & Wengrow, D. (2021). The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Greenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., & Solomon, S. (1986). The Causes and Consequences of a Need for Self-Esteem: A Terror Management Theory. In Public Self and Private Self (pp. 189–211).
Harari, Y. N. (2014). Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Harper Perennial.
Hayes, J., Schimel, J., & Williams, T. J. (2008). Fighting Death With Death The Buffering Effects of Learning That Worldview Violators Have Died. www.worldnetdaily.com
Kelly, R. L. (2007). The Foraging Spectrum: Diversity in Hunter-Gatherer Lifeways. Percheron Press/Eliot Werner.
Lee, R. B. (1969). Eating Christmas in the Kalahari. Natural History.
Maxfield, M., Pyszczynski, T., Kluck, B., Cox, C. R., Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Weise, D. (2007). Age-related differences in responses to thoughts of one's own death: mortality salience and judgments of moral transgressions. Psychology and aging, 22(2), 341–353. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.22.2.341
Power, C. (2018, April 1). “Communism in Living” - What can early human society teach us about the future? Libcom.Org. https://libcom.org/history/communism-living-what-can-early-human-society-teach-us-about-future-camilla-power
Pyszczynski, T., Abdollahi, A., Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., Cohen, F., & Weise, D.(2006). Mortality salience, martyrdom, and military might: The great Satan versus the axis of evil. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(4), 525–37. http://doi. org/10.1177/0146167205282157
Pyszczynski, T., Abdollahi, A., Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., Cohen, F., & Weise, D. (2006). Mortality salience, martyrdom, and military might: the great satan versus the axis of evil. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(4), 525–537. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167205282157
Shultziner, D., Stevens, T., Stevens, M., Stewart, B. A., Hannagan, R. J., Saltini-Semerari, G., Shultziner, D., Stevens, T., Stevens, M., Stewart, B. A., Hannagan, R. J., & Saltini-Semerari, G. (2010). The causes and scope of political egalitarianism during the Last Glacial: a multi-disciplinary perspective. Biol Philos, 25, 319–346. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-010-9196-4
Toya, A., & Nakashima, K. (2020). Reconsidering terror management theory in Japan. Psychologia, 62(3–4), 206–216. https://doi.org/10.2117/PSYSOC.2019-A110

Further Reading

The best place to begin in understanding terror management theory would be the book Worm at the Core by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski. Of course, Ernest Becker’s two works that inspired the theory, Denial of Death and The Birth and Death of Meaning, are brilliant pieces to understand the ideas behind this theory as well. However, Becker’s work is largely catered towards an academic audience, which may not be as inviting as the first book.
For a synthesis on our prehistory, rise of agriculture, and “origins” of raids or conquest, refer to the sources below:
Cohen, M. N. (2009). Introduction: Rethinking the Origins of Agriculture. Current Anthropology, 50(5), 591–595. https://doi.org/10.1086/603548
Ferguson, B. R. (2018, September 1). War Is Not Part of Human Nature. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/war-is-not-part-of-human-nature/
Richerson, P. J., Boyd, R., & Bettinger, R. L. (2001). Was Agriculture Impossible during the Pleistocene but Mandatory during the Holocene? A Climate Change Hypothesis. American Antiquity, 66(3), 387–411.
Other books that explore similar themes of death and denial are Ajit Varki and Danny Brower’s book Denial: Self-Deception, False Beliefs, and the Origins of the Human Mind, which provides a unique perspective to this topic from that of Ernest Becker, or see Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization by Stephen Cave.

Chapter 2: Napoleon’s Failed Hero System

Abbot, J. S. C. (1856). Confidential Correspondence of The Emperor Napoleon and The Empress Josephine. Mason Brothers.
Browning, O. (2017). Napoleon, the First Phase: Some Chapters on the Boyhood and Youth of Bonaparte, 1769-1793. Forgotten Books.
de Rémusat, C. E. (2012). Memoirs of Madame De Rémusat. 1802-1808. Nabu Press.
Landau, M. J., Solomon, S., Greenberg, J., Cohen, F., Pyszczynski, T., Arndt, J., Miller, C. H., Ogilvie, D. M., & Cook, A. (2004). Deliver us from Evil: The Effects of Mortality Salience and Reminders of 9/11 on Support for President George W. Bush. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30(9), 1136–1150. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167204267988
Zamoyski, A. (2005). Moscow 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March. Harper Perennial.
Zamoyski, A. (2019, April 9). The Personality Traits that Led to Napoleon Bonaparte’s Epic Downfall - HISTORY. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/news/napoleon-bonaparte-downfall-reasons-personality-traits
Zeigler-Hill, V., Green, B. A., Arnau, R. C., Sisemore, T. B., & Myers, E. M. (2011). Trouble ahead, trouble behind: Narcissism and early maladaptive schemas. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 42(1), 96–103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbtep.2010.07.004

Further Reading

A great place to begin learning about Napoleon Bonaparte is “The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast” by historiam David Markham and cohost Cameron Reilly. Any of the books by Dr. Zamoyski (seen above) are brilliant, and will be great read if you are interested in the history of this time.

Chapter 3: Debate Across the Atlantic

From Benjamin Franklin to Peter Collinson, 9 May 1753,” Founders Online, NationalArchives,https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Franklin/01-04-02-0173.[Original source: The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, vol. 4, July 1, 1750, through June 30, 1753, ed. Leonard W. Labaree. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961, pp. 477–486.]
Graeber, D., & Wengrow, D. (2021). The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Pyszczynski, T. (2015). The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Random House.
Houston, R. (1983). Literacy and Society in the West, 1500-1850. In History (Vol. 8, Issue 3).
Nisbet, R. (1975). Turgot and the Contexts of Progress. In Source: Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society (Vol. 119, Issue 3).
Orwell, G. (2019). The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell (S. Orwell & I. Angus, Eds.). Nonpareil Books.
Solomon, S. (2020). 20. Death Denial in the Anthropocene. In K. Zywert & S. Quilley (Ed.), Health in the Anthropocene: Living Well on a Finite Planet (pp. 404-418).Toronto:UniversityofTorontoPress.https://doi.org/10.3138/9781487533410-026
White, R. (1991). The Middle Ground: Indians, empires, and republics in the Great Lakes region, 1650-1815. Cambridge University Press.

Further Reading

I was first introduced to Kandiaronk through David Graeber and David Wengrow’s book The Dawn of Everything. For a more detailed discussion about Kandiaronk, visit the website wyandot.org or search “Kandiaronk: A Man Called Rat” on your search engine.
Another must read for the history of the American continent is Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. It has a fantastic discussion of the history of the continent and how it continues to affect the world today.
For a historic overview of the interaction between Europeans and Americans during this time, read Richard White’s Middle Ground.

Chapter 4: Othering and Uniting: The Case of Japan

Caprio, M. E. (2009). Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945. University of Washington Press.
DeVos, G., & Wagatsuma, H. (1966). Japan’s Invisible Race: Caste in Culture and Personality. In University of California Press. University of California Press. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1835-9310.1982.tb01239.x
Emori, S. (2007). Ainu Minzoku no Rekishi. Sofukan.
Kim, T (2021). Zainichi Koreans and Mental Health. Routledge Publishing
Kiyama, H. (1979). Shakushain’s Revolt of 1669: A study of a war between the Ainu and the Japanese.
Markovits, A., & Hellerman, S. (2001). Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism. Princeton University Press.
nation-state | Definition, Characteristics, & Facts | Britannica. (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2021, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/nation-state
Ohnuki-Tierney, E. (1976). Regional Variations in Ainu Culture. American Ethnologist, 3(2), 297–329.
Ohnuki-Tierney, E. (2010). Kamikaze, Cherry Blossoms, and Nationalisms: The Militarization of Aesthetics in Japanese History. University of Chicago Press.
Szymanski, S. (2014). “It’s Football not Soccer.” http://www.spiegel.de/international/naming-
Walker, B. L. (2001). The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590-1800. University of California Press.

Further Reading

For a great discussion on the emperor of Japan, look into In the Realm of a Dying Emperor by Norma Field. The works by Dr. Ohnuki-Tierney and Caprio will provide a great account on the policies or ideas behind Imperial Japan (seen above). I will discuss more sources to read about the Ainu in the final chapter.
A book I always recommend to understand the general mentality of Imperial Japan is Iris Chang’s The Rape of Nanking. It is a distressful and difficult book, but a necessary one to understand the impact of Japan’s colonial activities. Furthermore, Taeyoung Kim’s Zainichi Koreans and Mental Health and ann-elise lewallen’s The Fabric of Indigeneity are two great books who comment on the post-colonial impact on Japan’s minority groups.

Chapter 5: Abraham Lincoln's Dilemma, and the Problem with Brown vs Board of Education

Ahmad, F. Z., & Boser, U. (2014). America’s Leaky Pipeline for Teachers of Color Getting More Teachers of Color into the Classroom. Center for American Progress
Cullen, J. (2003). The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea That Shaped a Nation. Oxford University Press.
Diggins, J. P. (2000). On Hallowed Ground: Abraham Lincoln and the Foundations of American History. Yale University Press.
Gershenson, S., Hart, C. M. D., Lindsay, C. A., & Papageorge, N. W. (2017). The Long-Run Impacts of Same-Race Teachers. Discussion Paper Series. www.iza.org
Gershenson, S., Holt, S. B., & Papageorge, N. W. (2016). Who believes in me? The effect of student–teacher demographic match on teacher expectations. Economics of Education Review, 52, 209–224. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.ECONEDUREV.2016.03.002
Interview with Leola Montgomery. (1985, October 26). Washington University in St. Louis. http://repository.wustl.edu/concern/videos/5712m843k
King, M. L. J. (1968, March 31). Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution.
Lincoln, A., Nicolay, J. G. , ed, & Hay, J. ed. (1859). “Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 17, 1859” in “The Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, v. 5.” Northern Illinois University.
Neely, Mark E. Jr. (1982). The Abraham Lincoln Encyclopedia. New York: Da Capo Press, Inc.
Seventh Debate: Alton, Illinois. (1858, October 15). National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/liho/learn/historyculture/debate7.htm
Sunstein, C. R. (2021). This Is Not Normal: The Politics of Everyday Expectations. Yale University Press.
Warren, E. & Supreme Court Of The United States. (1953) U.S. Reports: Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483. [Periodical] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/usrep347483/.
Wilkerson, I. (2020). Caste. Allen Lane.
Will, M. (2019, June 5). 65 Years After “Brown v. Board,” Where Are All the Black Educators? EducationWeek. https://www.edweek.org/policy-politics/65-years-after-brown-v-board-where-are-all-the-black-educators/2019/05

Further Reading

Here first begin with Dr. Cullen’s book The American Dream. For a discussion on the repercussions after the Brown vs Board of Education case, see Jim Crow’s Pink Slip by Dr. Fenwick. Other great commentaries on the issue of race in the United States is Robin Berstein’s book Racial Innocence.
Diverging into other contemporary issues in the United States, Evicted by Matthew Desmond and Sudhir Venkatesh’s Gang Leader for a Day are two brilliant books to explore different dimensions of the interplay of race, class, and power.

Chapter 6: Dying and Working  in Despair

Arndt, J., Solomon, S., Kasser, T., & Sheldon, K. M. (2004). Society for Consumer Psychology The Urge to Splurge: A Terror Management Account of Materialism and Consumer Behavior. In Source: Journal of Consumer Psychology (Vol. 14, Issue 3).
Arndt, J., Vail, K. E., 3rd, Cox, C. R., Goldenberg, J. L., Piasecki, T. M., & Gibbons, F. X. (2013). The interactive effect of mortality reminders and tobacco craving on smoking topography. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 32(5), 525–532. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029201
Bertram, C. (2012, July 1). Let It Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace. Crooked Timber. https://crookedtimber.org/2012/07/01/let-it-bleed-libertarianism-and-the-workplace/
Case, A., & Deaton, A. (2015). Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century. PNAS, 112(49). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1518393112
Case, A., & Deaton, A. (2021). Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism. Princeton University Press.
Ein-Dor, T., Hirschberger, G., Perry, A., Levin, N., Cohen, R., Horesh, H., & Rothschild, E. (2014). Implicit death primes increase alcohol consumption. Health Psychology, 33(7), 748–751. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033880
Gawande, A. (2020, March 23). Why Americans Are Dying from Despair | The New Yorker. The NewYorker. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/23/why-americans-are-dying-from-despair
Horowitz, E. (2015, August 31). Tom Brady has more rights than most American workers. The BostonGlobe.
Rushkoff, D. (2018, July 5). Survival of the Richest. OneZero. https://onezero.medium.com/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1
Sunstein, C. R. (2021). This Is Not Normal: The Politics of Everyday Expectations. Yale University Press.
Williams, T. (1955/1985).Cat on a hot tin roof. NewYork: Penguin.(Original work published 1955)
Van Orden, K. A., Cukrowicz, K. C., Witte, T. K., & Joiner, T. E. (2012). Thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness: construct validity and psychometric properties of the Interpersonal Needs Questionnaire. Psychological assessment, 24(1), 197–215. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025358

Further Reading

There is a wealth of reading and resources available for similar discussions to this. I would highly recommend Dr. Case and Deaton’s book discussed above and Dr. Gawande’s brilliant book Being Mortal. Of course, there may be no better starting point than Noam Chomsky’ and Edward Herman’s classic Manufacturing Consent. I also highly recommend Shamus Khan’s Privileged to explore the changing culture and mindset of the modern elite.
Another book that inspired this writing was Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism. A greatly challenging but important review of racism, totalitarian governments, and most influentially to this book, an analysis of using “others” as a proxy. The YouTube channel “Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College” has a brilliant guide to navigate this book, which I recommend all who are unfamiliar with Arendt’s work to view.
For discussions of suicide and the importance of sociocultural factors in our health, Suzanne O’Sullivan’s The Sleeping Beauties and Micheal Kral’s The Idea of Suicide are great places to being.

Chapter 7: The Threat of Nature and the New Dimension to Death

Barendregt, H. (1846). Letter from North America. Heritage Hall Archives.
Beatson, R. M., & Halloran, M. J. (2007). Humans rule! The effects of creatureliness reminders, mortality salience and self-esteem on attitudes towards animals. The British journal of social psychology, 46(Pt 3), 619–632. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466606X147753
Burke, M., González, F., Baylis, P., Heft-Neal, S., Baysan, C., Basu, S., & Hsiang, S. (2018). Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico. Nature Climate Change 2018 8:8, 8(8), 723–729. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-018-0222-x
de Leeuw, G. (2006). Wij, Eenvoudige Drentse Lui: Landverhuizers uit Drenthe (We, Simple Drenthish Folk: Emigrants from Drenthe. https://library.calvin.edu/guide/collections/hh/in_house_resources/emigrants/drenthe_emigrations
Garfield, C. W. (1910). The Peoples Play Grounds. Fortieth Annual Report of the Secretary of the State Horticultural Society of Michigan.
Jones, J. J. (2007). Biographial Portrait: Charles William Garfield (1848-1934). Forest History Today.
Oreskes, N., & Conway, E. M. (n.d.). Merchants of Doubt. Bloomsbury Press.
Schroder, A. (2019, April 29). Do Not Worship the Deities That Came Before the Fire. The DarkMountainProject.https://dark-mountain.net/do-not-worship-the-deities-that-came-before-the-fire/
State of the Union Address. (2020). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CREC-2020-02-04/pdf/CREC-2020-02-04-pt1-PgH758-6.pdf
Swierenga, R. (2008). The Dutch and the Ottawas: A Unique Cultural Interchange. A.C. Van Raalte Institute. http://www.swierenga.com/DutchandOttawaDAHD1108.html

Further Reading

The first place I’d recommend you to go is the website of The Dark Mountain Project and listen to Arnold Schroder’s podcast “Fight like an animal”. These should lead to you towards more reading and exploration of the topics in this chapter.
Other than Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway’s book mentioned above, Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything provides a fantastic commentary on the issue of eternal extraction and climate change. Lastly, I highly recommend Jared Diamond’s book Collapse, for another historic overview of our environmental degradation and human agency led to the collapse of many societies.

Chapter 8: Confronting our Fear, Insecurity, and Death

Allard, S. (2019). Guided by the Spirits: The Meanings of Life, Death, and Youth Suicide in an Ojibwa Community. Routledge.
Arndt, J., Solomon, S., Kasser, T., & Sheldon, K. M. (2004). Society for Consumer Psychology The Urge to Splurge: A Terror Management Account of Materialism and Consumer Behavior. In Source: Journal of Consumer Psychology (Vol. 14, Issue 3).
Becker, E. (1973). The Denial of Death. The Free Press.
Gawande, A. (2014). Being mortal: Medicine and what matters in the end. Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company.
Gladwell, M. (Hosts). (2016, August 10). Generous Orthodoxy. Revisionist History. Pushkin.
Gowdy, J. (2020). Our hunter-gatherer future: Climate change, agriculture and uncivilization. Futures, 115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2019.102488
Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., & Pyszczynski, T. (2015). The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life. Random House.
Johnson, H. (2016). Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours). University of Regina Press.
Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge. Milkweed.
Niemiec, C. P., Brown, K. W., Kashdan, T. B., Cozzolino, P. J., Breen, W. E., Levesque-Bristol, C., & Ryan, R. M. (2010). Being Present in the Face of Existential Threat: The Role of Trait Mindfulness in Reducing Defensive Responses to Mortality Salience. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019388
Plato. (1898). Apology of Socrates and Crito. American Book Company.
Rushkoff, D. (2018, July 5). Survival of the Richest. OneZero. https://onezero.medium.com/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1
Wenger, C. (2014, November 6). An open letter to my beloved church. Anabaptist World. https://anabaptistworld.org/open-letter-beloved-church/

Further Reading

Some fantastic books to begin with would be Dr. Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass, Dr. Treuer’s Everything You Wanted to Know About Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, and  Dr. TallBear’s Native American DNA. To depart from the American continent, Kayano Shigeru’s Our Land was a Forest is a good place to begin to better learn about the Ainu people. Another great piece is Race, Resistance and the Ainu of Japan by Dr. Siddle. Another great book is The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi, which provides a great historical overview of the popular but mystified situation of Palestine and colonial activity. And last I’d like to recommend Suicide and Agency by Dr. Broz and Münster to get a glimpse into the impact conquest and colonization has had on various cultures across the globe.
There is a large community of people who are tackling these issues; and most likely are active near you as well. The best place to start is to learn about the very land you live on, the various culture that does/has existed there, and what happened. In terms of reflecting upon our own death, the Ernest Becker Foundation has great online seminars that are free and open to the public.