College of Charleston history professor Scott Poole grew up in love with monsters. He translated his love for them into a career as a historian, author, and pop culture critic. On October 15, 2011, in the middle of the most monsterific month of the year, Poole will release his sixth book, Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting (Baylor University Press).

“With Monsters in America, W. Scott Poole has given us a guidebook for a journey into nightmare territory. Insightful and brilliant!” says Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Patient Zero and Dead of Night.

Monsters in America uniquely brings together history and culture studies to expose the dark obsessions that have helped create our national identity. Consulting newspaper accounts, archival materials, personal papers, comic books, films, and oral histories, Scott Poole has crafted an engrossing, and entirely unique, history of America, one that nimbly illustrates how the creation of the monstrous “other” not only reflects society’s fears but shapes actual historical behavior.

“Monsters are not just fears of the individual psyche,” Scott Poole explains, “But are concoctions of the public imagination—reactions to cultural influences, social change, and historical events. Conflicting anxieties about race, class, gender, sexuality, religious beliefs, science, and politics manifest themselves as haunting beings. From Victorian-era mad scientists to modern-day serial killers, new monsters appear as American society evolves, paralleling fluctuating challenges to the cultural status quo.”

W. Scott Poole is an associate professor at the College of Charleston teaching courses ranging from Monsters in America to South Carolina History and Religion in the Atlantic World. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi and his M.T.S. from Harvard University.  Poole is author of several books dealing with race, religion and pop culture including: Satan in America: The Devil We Know (Rowman & Littlefield Publisher, 2009), The Palmetto State: The Making of Modern South Carolina (USC Press, 2009), Never Surrender: Confederate Memory and Conservatism in the South Carolina Upcountry (UGA Press, 2004), South Carolina’s Civil War (Mercer, 2005), and the co-editor of a collection of essays with Edward J. Blum entitled Vale of Tears: New Essays in Religion and Reconstruction (Mercer, 2005). Never Surrender won the George C. Rogers Award for Best Book in South Carolina History, 2004. Poole is also a regular contributor to, and international magazine of cultural criticism.

For more information, visit or email Poole at