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The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things

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The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
59029
genre:
Politics and Current Events, Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

The ”epidemics” of crack babies, road rage, unwed teenage mothers, and flesh-eating bacteria made for some of the most frightening — and memorable — news stories of the ’80s and ’90s. But what’s really chilling, says sociologist Barry Glassner, is how baseless many such ”trends” actually were. In The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things he lucidly exposes how the media and politicians play to Americans’ fears, presenting anomalous incidents as rampant dangers. Nevertheless, Glassner claims that there is more to fear than fear itself: While we’re distracted by flashy frights like the latest ”killer” microbe, the deeper, less hype-worthy threats to society — such as higher rates of poverty and underperforming schools — remain scarily underreported. B+

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