BDS Book Festival 7: Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 4, 2019



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Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.

Lynda King, the author of Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon, is here to answer the Book Festival  questions and of course, to award one lucky reader with a copy of her book.

You will find this book to be a fascinating timeline of survivalism and modern day prepping.  If you are a history buff, and even if you are not, you will enjoy the walk through time.  It attempts to answer the question of who are preppers and what are they preparing for?  It does so in a rational manner without portraying us as kooks or weirdos, just ordinary people trying to stay safe in an uncertain world.

Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon - Backdoor Survival

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

An Interview with Lynda King, Author of Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon

Tell me about your book, Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon.  What is it about?

It takes a look at the events that have prompted people to prepare throughout history. It shows that preppers aren’t “new”—or weird, and talks about the people that make up today’s “prepper movement.”

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

I did a huge amount of research online—it’s really amazing how much information is now online, including declassified government documents. I also read books on World Wars I & II and the Great Depression.

In addition, I interviewed some people who are well-known in the prepping community today, including author James Wesley Rawles; Kellene Bishop of, who was on season 1 of National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers”; and Dave Duffy, editor of Backwoods Home magazine.

How long did it take to write?

It took me more than a year, because I just couldn’t do it full-time. I would do a big chunk of research and then have to get away from it awhile for the information to “sink in” and to decide what to do with it. I also did a lot of re-reading and editing as I went along.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon?

I hope people will realize that prepping is not just for people on “the fringe.” There are so many things that happen in life that could have a detrimental affect on us if we aren’t prepared, that being prepared is the responsible thing to do. When I do book signings,

I often write on the inside cover: “Stuff happens—be ready!” And that’s what I hope people take away from this book.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am a freelance writer and former newspaper editor. I’ve lived in New England nearly all my life and have been instilled with a sense of self-reliance and resourcefulness, which has always guided my life. But I didn’t focus on prepping as a conscious, intentional thing until the last 8-10 years or so.

And realizing the importance of—and all the reasons for—being self-reliant, I took on an initiative with a friend to raise awareness in our community about preparedness, self-reliance, and caring for our environment in a way that will make life sustainable into the future for everyone.  Our group is now 5 years old and has gained a lot of “traction” in town.

My husband and I maintain a “mini-farm” on a small, almost-one-acre lot. We have a large, organic garden—last year we grew 40 tomato plants—and I put up as much of our own food as possible: tomato-based sauces, jellies and jams, syrups, pickled goods, and vegetables. In late winter we make our own maple syrup. We also have a flock of 9 chickens.

Being a big do-it-yourselfer, I’m a firm believer in making foods from scratch. (I don’t even like using canned cream soups.) In the last two years, I’ve probably purchased only four loaves of bread; the rest I’ve made. I also dabble in making herbal remedies, with homegrown herbs wherever possible, and making some of my own skin care and cleaning products.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

First, I think you have to be a creative thinker and be ready to roll with whatever life throws at you. That said, I can say that my preparedness efforts pay particular attention to things that have affected me in the past and that could have a wide-ranging impact in the future.

For example, I live in the Northeast, and we’ve experienced frequent power outages over the years in the wake of hurricanes, blizzards, and high winds taking down tree branches over power lines. On three occasions we were without power for a week or more (and fared very well, by the way).

Realizing the vulnerability of the power grid to things that could bring more widespread and longer-lasting power outages, I try to be prepared to live my life without electricity for an extended period if needed.

One other thing that is a big concern for me is the safety and security of our food supply, which is one of the reasons I’m so intent on growing my own food and making as much food as possible “from scratch.”

I think that some of the ingredients that have made their way into our foods over the years have been big contributors to obesity and diabetes, and with the advent of genetic modification of foods, I shudder to think what the future holds. In addition, I’m very concerned about corporations that are patenting seeds and taking over seed companies.

I think this could impact  food security, along with things like droughts in the West, where much of our supermarket food comes from, and the availability of truckers, who could go out of business because of reduced profits or go on strike if gas prices spike again.

Do you have plans for another book?

I’ve kicked around some ideas, but I don’t have firm plans at the moment. I think if I take on another book, it would be food-related, but there are already a LOT of books out there in that category. I think a new entry in that market would have to be something unique.

In addition, my book-writing time is pretty limited at the moment. I’m very active in a couple of community groups, and I do some writing and editing for two local newspapers, while working to live the self-reliant lifestyle I advocate, which, as your readers probably know, is a time-consuming proposition.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Well, I hope they enjoy the book, and consider it for gift-giving for any friends or family members who think prepping is for crazy paranoids.

One of the reasons I wrote it is that I became aware that few of the people in my circle of friends and acquaintances knew what prepping is. In one case, when I started to explain it, the person I was talking to said, “Oh-h-h. Well, I choose not to live my life like that.”

To me, this kind of thinking gets in the way of common sense. Anyone paying attention to things going on in the world today—from extreme weather to terrorism and more—should realize that it is only logical to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon has been reserved for one lucky reader.  To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

This is the first book of its type that has crossed my desk and it is a good one.  It is extremely well documented with footnotes and references and is nicely indexed.  That said, I have a fondness for all of the books published by the Prepper Press and this one is no exception.

Good luck, everyone!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight:  Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon

The word ‘prepper’ seems to have burst onto the scene within the last 10 years, and has increasingly become associated with “fringe” extremists. They have been labeled by some as “domestic terrorists.”

But is prepping a new phenomenon? Or is it a manifestation of a growing collective psyche that has learned, from traumatic events throughout our history, that preparedness is critical to human survival? For new preppers who think the worst is yet to come, this book offers a walk through history that shows the worst has been here before.

For those who wonder why so many people are concerned about being prepared, this book will show that when the worst has made an appearance, those who weathered it best were those who were prepared. For those already familiar with history’s worst who think, “THAT will never happen again!”—this book offers a reminder of the Wall Street adage: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”

For those who wonder what a prepper is, this book offers a look at what they used to be—and what they are today.

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.  The eBook  print version is available.

A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food at Half the Price – Now Available

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Updated Jul 4, 2019

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45 Responses to “BDS Book Festival 7: Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon”

  1. Thanks for your information!

  2. What event is most likely to cause the greatest disruption to our normal routines and force us to utilize our stored supplies?

  3. In a major disruption, what manner of supplies/services are most likely to still be accessible?

  4. In your view, what is the ‘event’ that will cause our society to fall apart?

  5. How do suggest getting a 13 yr old on board with prepping? He’s sarcastic about my prepping.

  6. I think it would be fascinating to learn about prepping throughout history. I didn’t think it was a “modern” phenomenon, but to read HOW they did it in the past will be interesting.

  7. Enjoyed reading the interview article, this book seems like an interesting read to say the least. Would be a great addition to my library. Thanks for the articles and info you research and post.

  8. How do you keep from getting overwhelmed by everything? So much to learn and try to do! We finally have our little “farm” (8 acres with some woodland, some cleared land, a pond and stream!)but there’s still so much to do that I sometimes just don’t know where to begin! One step at a time… and remember to breathe, I guess.

  9. What event(s) got you into prepping?

  10. What is/are the biggest threat(s) to Americans?

  11. I have struggled to bring my husband (and family) on board with my prepping. They all think I’m a loco survivalist/doomsday nut. What logical argument(s) can I use besides the what if’s to convince them that we have to be prepared for what ever may come over the normal have a few extra things on hand for emergencies scenario.
    Maybe this book would help DaHubs get on board and realise I am NOT nuttier that a fruitcake.

    • We live in the mid part of the US. Back in 2008 Hurricane Ike rolled thru our area (one of 17 states)and did a lot of wind damage, power was out for almost two weeks, gas stations, banks, grocery store, etc were closed. I have always been prepared for tornado’s, ice storms and blizzards but after that scenario I started adding items to my stash. My husband learned prior to this that having extra toilet paper, canned and boxed goods came in handy, like the time he broke a bone on the first day of a two week vacation. Sick pay was not good and bills had to be paid. Just having extra paper products, canned/boxed goods and frozen meat in the freezer helped out a lot. My husband is evolving and I actually have him going to accompany me to a free two hour meeting with a previous Homeland Security director to talk about the threats and preparedness. Since he has retired he watches Fox News and stays up on what is really going on around us and now even watches the local news. Everything takes time but a few mishaps along the way will open their eyes even if it is a little at a time. Hang in there, you are as sane as I am!

  12. What is the biggest reason that people won’t listen to reason and facts about prepping? It seems insane that they refuse to do something.

  13. What made you start with the preparedness lifestyle? Do you have the support of those who live with you?

  14. Questions? What in your opinion will be the trigger to start our downward spiral?
    Also What indicators should we be looking for to get a jump on the rest of the oblivious populace?
    Sound like a great read. Hope too win.

  15. What did you do to begin your prepping journey?

  16. Got into it in the days of Mel tappan also a NWestern Oregon, after NAM. told one woman who asked me why, told her I saw hell and Liked what I saw — former ASA.

  17. What was it that got you into prepping in the first place? (i.e. event, book, movie, etc.)

  18. Was there a single incident that started you on your perpper path and, if so, what was it?

  19. As a writer it was interesting to read about the author’s process in writing the book.

  20. Why, do you think, is the reason(s) the masses don’t want to take responsibility for themselves and their families?

    • Let’s make that “What” instead of Why – sorry.

  21. How would we know it was time to bug out?

  22. I’d like to ask what factors a person should include to realistically evaluate how their current locale might respond to a crisis. I’m thinking non-natural disaster scenarios, like grid failure, economic downturn, civil unrest, terrorist attacks.

  23. I’d ask if they ever feel totally ready and prepped and if not what prep area concerns them the most.

  24. I like history. Plus, non fiction preping is a good balance to all the novels.

  25. What book or movie, fiction or nonfiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

  26. How do you prepare for kids with rally bad allergies to food?

  27. How do you get a reluctant spouse to join in?

  28. Our rural home will be the BOL for our family in a SHTF situation. Our problem is knowing when to issue the “Get the heck out of Dodge” calls. What guidelines could you give us that would help us know when to make those calls?

  29. 1) what would be your first step if you were just starting?
    2) what is your #1 prep?
    3) what 1 book would be your necessity?

  30. How should Type 1 insulin dependent diabetics prepare with a limited supply of insulin per month and how to prepare in other ways?

  31. What time frame do you put on when a major event will happen?

  32. What one single event (or point in time) did you decide to become a “prepper”?

  33. Kids are away at College with a small dorm room 1400 miles from home. What kind of preps can they do?

  34. I am interested in the history of prepardness as well as learning new things.

  35. Why dosent the government get more involved?

  36. I would love to hear more information on how to be more self sufficient in an urban situation- trying to grow a garden ( it is killing me), foraging, and learning how what our ancestors did during hard times got them through it all. What is the most important thing to do next after doing preps since 2000?

  37. how do you defend yourself without guns?

  38. How do you get other people to take you seriously and consider prepping for themselves?

  39. Ya, how do you get family members to get involved….my wife thinks I am doing to much !

  40. What is the most likely event that will cause the melt down.

  41. The question I would like to have asked of the next group of Book Festival authors is, “Of all the events that might possibly occur, for which situation do you feel you are least prepared?” Then I would be interested in knowing the steps they feel they need to take to become more prepared for that situation.

  42. When do you think the crap is going to hit?

  43. Since there seems to be an endless list of things/disasters/events that could cause the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI or even just a bad day, how and why settle on one single thing to get prepared for?


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