Mark Stein

Mark Stein

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Mark Stein is the author of How the States Got Their Shapes, a New York Times Bestseller that became the basis of the History Channel series of the same name, and its companion book, How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Borderlines, which answers the question: Since no child ever said, "When I grow up, I want to create a state line," how did the people who did so end up doing so? He also wrote American Panic: A History of Who Scares Us and Why, which traces rhetorical devices that have recurred in political panics from the Salem Witch Hunt to the present, and reveals why some people are more susceptible to such rhetoric than others -- regardless of educational level or where they reside on the political spectrum. His most recent book,Vice Capades: Sex, Drugs, and Bowling from the Pilgrims to the Present, explores the kinship between punishable vice and political power -- as in the case of bowling, which was illegal in all of this country's thirteen colonies...except New York. That colony had a large Dutch population; the Dutch had brought bowling to the New World; they prospered and became wealthy in what became, under the British, New York. And wealth is powerful. And the Dutch liked to bowl. Indeed, the oldest park in New York is Bowling Green. In film, Stein wrote the screenplay for Housesitter, which starred Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn. His plays have been produced off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, and at such regional theatres as South Coast Repertory, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, L.A.'s Fountain Theatre, the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, CA, and an award-winning production of his play, Direct from Death Row the Scottsboro Boys at Chicago's Raven Theater. Stein lives in Washington, D.C., where he has taught at Catholic University and American University. More about Mark Stein or contact at
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