"Wells's narrative is rich in particulars." Lingua Franca
"Facing the 'King of Terrors' is exemplary social history." James J. Farrell, The Journal of American History
"Well's work provides excellent insight into demography, public observances, and the role of the media, particulary during the transition of the nineteenth century." Elizabeth E. Dunn, The Historian
"Well's historical judgements and insights are generally relevant and penetrating, and his multivariate and data-rich presentation give Facing the 'King of Terrors' scope, diversity, comprehensiveness, and relevance beyond its geographical and historical boundaries." Jrnl of Interdisciplinary History
"it is an engaging, richly detailed local history, and, by the end of this work, the reader id thoroughly acquainted with life in Schenectady, New York-the American community mentioned in the book's subtitle...His discussion is quite suggestive and anticipates many areas of research that are ripe for historians to pursue." American Historial Review Dec 2001
Death, a topic often neglected by historians, is in this book given the attention it deserves as one of the most important aspects of personal and societal experience. Facing the "King of Terrors" examines changes in the roles and perceptions of death in one American community, Schenectady, New York, from 1750 to 1990, combining an in-depth look at patterns of death in society as a whole with an investigation of personal responses to such cultural customs.