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Why is an unarmed young black woman who knocks on a stranger's front door to ask for help after her car breaks down perceived to be so threatening that he shoots her dead? Why do we fear infrequent acts of terrorism more than far more common acts of violence? Why does a disease like Ebola, which killed only a handful of Americans, provoke panic whereas the flu - which kills tens of thousands each year - is dismissed with a yawn?
Jumping at Shadows is Sasha Abramsky's searing account of America's most dangerous epidemic: irrational fear. Taking listeners on a dramatic journey through a divided nation, where everything from immigration to disease, gun control to health care has become fodder for fearmongers and conspiracists, he delivers an eye-popping analysis of our misconceptions about risk and threats. What emerges is a shocking portrait of a political and cultural landscape that is, increasingly, defined by our worst fears and rampant anxieties.
Ultimately, Abramsky shows that how we calculate risk and deal with fear can teach us a great deal about ourselves, exposing deeply ingrained strains of racism, classism, and xenophobia within our culture as well as our growing susceptibility to the toxic messages of demagogues.
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"In this fascinating examination of fear, journalist Abramsky (The American Way of Poverty) reveals how it has infected the collective American psyche, influencing everything from child rearing to government.... Listeners interested in groupthink, sociology, or seeking insight into the current state of American politics will devour this book." (Library Journal)
"A provocative look at the science and psychology behind fear-based politics.... Abramsky presents a clearly written synthesis of science and sociology. A thoughtful progressive feint against the vulgar fearmongering of the moment." (Kirkus Reviews)
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- J. D. Portnoy
Preaching to the Choir
If you want a book about psychology, this isn't it. Apart from tossing in a few words like amygdala and hypothalamus, it's all about politics. If you're not a leftist, you won't like it and you won't agree. If you are a leftist, you've heard it all before and already believe. All in all, there's not much reason to listen to this book.
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Recognizing Our Fears and Anxieties
I listened to the audio version and this book states well how we let irrational fears get the best of us. If we are aware of our crazy fears we can then do something about them.
This book discusses fears and mentions several times the past election including Donald Trump. It is NOT a book written about our current president so take the one and two star reviews stating it is with a bucket of salt.