An illustrated social history, from prehistoric terror of ancestral spirits down to existential angst a la J-P Sartre and dread of alien kidnapping. Throughout history, humankind has been aware of entering into an existence from which we strive to obtain the greatest degree of fulfilment and happiness. Yet beneath the surface there lurks a prowling sense of unease, often impossible to articulate, that surfaces in different ways. In Neolithic times it might have expressed itself in the fear of ancestral spirits returning to plague or contaminate the living; in later periods it has assumed many shapes - rage against Satan and witchcraft, fear of mortality, schizophrenia, mass panic, the dread of living in a meaningless universe. With a combination of common sense and learning, "A History of Terror" traces the many strands of this essential unease, exploring the ways in which we have projected and dealt with it through ritual, religion, literature and social control. Paul Newman's historical treatment rescues the central subject matter from charges of vagueness with its many examples from archaeology, art history, literature and history, and he looks at contemporary attempts to deal with fundamental fears through self-help, the cults movement and even the micro-chip (as witnessed by the many Internet sites exploring the theme).