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Publisher's Summary

The best seller revealing why Americans are so fearful and why we fear the wrong things - now updated for the age of Trump.

In the age of Trump, our society is defined by fear. Indeed, three out of four Americans say they feel more fearful today than they did only a couple decades ago. But are we living in exceptionally perilous times? 

In his best-selling work The Culture of Fear, sociologist Barry Glassner demonstrates it is our perception of danger that has increased, not the actual level of risk. Glassner exposes the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our fears: Politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime and drug use even as rates for both are declining; advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases; TV shows that create a new scare every week to garner ratings. Glassner spells out the prices we pay for social panics: The huge sums of money that go to waste on unnecessary programs and products as well as time and energy spent worrying about our fears.

All the while, we are distracted from the true threats, from climate change to worsening inequality. In this updated edition of a modern classic, Glassner examines the current panics over vaccination and "political correctness" and reveals why Donald Trump's fearmongering is so dangerously effective. 

©1999 Barry Glassner (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"One of the most important sociological books you'll read this year, and certainly the most reassuring." (Kirkus Reviews)

"[The Culture of Fear] ought to be part of every savvy media-watcher's toolbox." (American Prospect)

"The Culture of Fear uses strong data and careful reasoning to calm everybody down." (Amitai Etzioni, author of The Limits of Privacy)

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great re: perspective and thinking past headlines

the reader's voice when reading quotes is... odd... otherwise good points, heavy handed on anti gun though.

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Be afraid of fear mongers!

It's odd to have a book both condemning fear mongers and inciting fear at the same time. While many valid points are made, an obvious political left message is presented. Worth a listen, though. Go turn off your TV.

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"It's the guns, stupid"

Guns. That's it. Problem solved. Take the guns away and everybody is happy. At the very worst, guns are only part of the problem. For the author to constantly claim that guns are the root of all evil and convoluted problems such as teen suicide can be solved by taking away guns is absolute ludicrous. Other than that, the book tell some interesting stories about today's media.

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  • CJ
  • 01-15-19

excellent

outstanding book. fascinating reading it in 2019 and comparing past fear mongering to today. the last 2 chapters in this new version are a retrospective of ideas that glassner presented in the first version of the book and how post 9/11 america has gotten worse and better in regards to the culture of fear.

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Sucks

absolute waist of time and money. no value to me or anyone else who is capable of independent thought

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-29-19

A very lefty author

An interesting listen and some insightful statistical analysis. Sadly, the authors obvious biases cast a shadow over the validity of the content. Don't let that put you off, it's still a great listen.