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Documents the growing fascination with political danger and disaster, reexamines fear's modern interpreters including Hobbes and Tocqueville, and offers an antidote to the culture of fear.
'Fear' in the twenty-first century has greater currency in western societies than ever before. Through scares ranging from cot death, juvenile crime, internet porn, asylum seekers, dirty bombs and avian flu, we are bombarded with messages about emerging risks. This book takes stock of a range of issues of 'fear' and presents new theoretical arguments and research findings that cover topics as diverse as the war on terror, the immigration crisis, stranger danger, global disease epidemics and sectarian violence. This book charts the association of fear discourses with particular spaces, times, social identities and sets of geopolitical relations. It examines the ways in which fear may be manufactured and manipulated for political purposes, sometimes becoming a tool of repression, and relates fear to political, economic and social marginalization at different scales. Furthermore, it highlights the importance and sometimes unpredictability of everyday lived experiences of fear - the many ways in which people recognize, make sense of and manage fear; the extent of resistance to fear; the relation of fear and hope in everyday life; and the role of emotions in galvanizing political and social action and change.
An informative look at phobias draws on examples from literature, history, and personal memoirs to analyze these obsessional fears, examines various theories regarding their causes, answers frequently asked questions about phobias, and discusses a variety of potential treatment options. Reprint. 12,500 first printing.
Fear is one of the most basic and most powerful of all the human emotions. Sometimes it is hauntingly specific: flames searing patterns on the ceiling, a hydrogen bomb, a terrorist. More often, anxiety overwhelms us from some source within: there is an irrational panic about venturing outside, a dread of failure, a premonition of doom. In this astonishing book we encounter the fears and anxieties of hundreds of British and American men, women and children. From fear of the crowd to agoraphobia, from battle experiences to fear of nuclear attack, from cancer to AIDS, this is an utterly original insight into the mindset of the twentieth century from one of most brilliant historians and thinkers of our time.
How do human emotions arise, what functions do they serve, what is their evolutionary background, how do they relate to behaviour and the brain? These questions are put, and answered, in relation to the emotion of fear in this, the second edition of professor Gray's extremely well known book, first published in 1971. In this edition, the text has been extensively modified and brought up-to-date, but the book maintains the style and general argument of the first edition. The author's approach in this book is from a biological standpoint; he emphasises the evidence that has accumulated from experiments by psychologists, ethologists, physiologists and endocrinologists. Although a lot of this evidence has been obtained from animal studies, it throws light on the psychology and physiology of fear in Man. Differences between individuals in their susceptibility to fear are treated with as much attention as the common factors are.
Our thinking is inhabited by images-images of sometimes curious and overwhelming power. The mushroom cloud, weird rays that can transform the flesh, the twilight world following a nuclear war, the white city of the future, the brilliant but mad scientist who plots to destroy the world-all these images and more relate to nuclear energy, but that is not their only common bond. Decades before the first atom bomb exploded, a web of symbols with surprising linkages was fully formed in the public mind. The strange kinship of these symbols can be traced back, not only to medieval symbolism, but still deeper into experiences common to all of us. This is a disturbing book: it shows that much of what we believe about nuclear energy is not based on facts, but on a complex tangle of imagery suffused with emotions and rooted in the distant past. Nuclear Fear is the first work to explore all the symbolism attached to nuclear bombs, and to civilian nuclear energy as well, employing the powerful tools of history as well as findings from psychology, sociology, and even anthropology. The story runs from the turn of the century to the present day, following the scientists and journalists, the filmmakers and novelists, the officials and politicians of many nations who shaped the way people think about nuclear devices. The author, a historian who also holds a Ph.D. in physics, has been able to separate genuine scientific knowledge about nuclear energy and radiation from the luxuriant mythology that obscures them. In revealing the history of nuclear imagery, Weart conveys the hopeful message that once we understand how this imagery has secretly influenced history and our own thinking, we can move on to a clearer view of the choices that confront our civilization. Table of Contents: Preface Part One: Years of Fantasy, 1902-1938 1. Radioactive Hopes White Cities of the Future Missionaries for Science The Meaning of Transmutation 2. Radioactive Fears Scientific Doomsdays The Dangerous Scientist Scientists and Weapons Debating the Scientist's Role 3. Radium: Elixir or Poison? The Elixir of Life Rays of Life Death Rays Radium as Medicine and Poison 4. The Secret, the Master, and the Monster Smashing Atoms The Fearful Master Monsters and Victims Real Scientists The Situation before Fission Part Two: Confronting Reality, 1939-1952 5. Where Earth and Heaven Meet Imaginary Bomb-Reactors Real Reactors and Safety Questions Planned Massacres "The Second Coming" 6. The News from Hiroshima ClichÃ© Experts Hiroshima Itself Security through Control by Scientists? Security through Control over Scientists? 7. National Defenses Civil Defenses Bombs as a Psychological Weapon The Airmen Part Three: New Hopes and Horrors, 1953-1963 8. Atoms for Peace A Positive Alternative Atomic Propaganda Abroad Atomic Propaganda at Home 9. Good and Bad Atoms Magical Atoms Real Reactors The Core of Mistrust Tainted Authorities 10. The New Blasphemy Bombs as a Violation of Nature Radioactive Monsters Blaming Authorities 11. Death Dust Crusaders against Contamination A Few Facts Clean or Filthy Bombs? 12. The Imagination of Survival Visions of the End Survivors as Savages The Victory of the Victim The Great Thermonuclear Strategy Debate The World as Hiroshima 13. The Politics of Survival The Movement Attacking the Warriors Running for Shelter Cuban Catharsis Reasons for Silence Part Four: Suspect Technology, 1956-1986 14. Fail/Safe Unwanted Explosions: Bombs Unwanted Explosions: Reactors Advertising the Maximum Accident 15. Reactor Poisons and Promises Pollution from Reactors The Public Loses Interest The Nuplex versus the China Syndrome 16. The Debate Explodes The Fight against Antimissiles Sounding the Radiation Alarm Reactors: A Surrogate for Bombs? Environmentalists Step In 17. Energy Choices Alternative Energy Sources Real Reactor Risks "It's Political" The Reactor Wars 18. Civilization or Liberation? The Logic of Authority and Its Enemies Nature versus Culture Modes of Expression The Public's Image of Nuclear Power 19. The War Fear Revival: An Unfinished Chapter Part Five The Search for Renewal 20. The Modern Arcanum Despair and Denial Help from Heaven? Objects in the Skies Mushroom and Mandala 21. Artistic Transmutations The Interior Holocaust Rebirth from Despair Toward the Four-Gated City Conclusion A Personal Note Sources and Methodology Notes Index Reviews of this book: Nuclear Fear is a rich, layered journey back through our 'atomic history' to the primal memories of monstrous mutants and mad scientists. It is a deeply serious book but written in an accessible style that reveals the culture in which this fear emerges only to be suppressed and emerge again. --Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe Reviews of this book: A historical portrait of the quintessential modern nightmare...Weart shows in meticulous and fascinating detail how [the] ancient images of alchemy-fire, sexuality, Armageddon, gold, eternity and all the rest-immediately clustered around the new science of atomic physics...There is no question that the image of nuclear power reflects a complex and deeply disturbing portrait of what it means to be human. --Stephan Salisbury, Philadelphia Inquirer Reviews of this book: A detailed, probing study of American hopes, dreams and insecurities in the twentieth-century. Weart has a poet's acumen for sensing human feelings ... Nuclear Fear remains captivating as history...and original as an anthropological study of how nuclear power, like alchemy in medieval times, offers a convenient symbol for deeply-rooted human feelings. --Los Angeles Times Reviews of this book: Weart's tale boldly sweeps from the futuristic White City of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the discovery of radioactivity in 1896 through Hiroshima and Star Wars... (An] admirable call for synthesis of art and science in a true transmutation that takes us beyond nuclear fear. --H. Bruce Franklin, Science
This is an examination of the factors that contribute to the risk of being victimized, such as crime rates and environmental and personal variables.
This volume provides a cross-disciplinary examination of fear, that most unruly of our emotions, by offering a broad survey of the psychological, biological, and philosophical basis of fear in historical and contemporary contexts. The contributors, leading figures in clinical psychology, neuroscience, the social sciences, and the humanities, consider categories of intentionality, temporality, admixture, spectacle, and politics in evaluating conceptions of fear. Individual chapters treat manifestations of fear in the mass panic of the stock market crash of 1929, as spectacle in warfare and in horror films, and as a political tool to justify security measures in the wake of terrorist acts. They also describe the biological and evolutionary roots of fear, fear as innate versus learned behavior in both humans and animals, and conceptions of human “passions” and their self-mastery from late antiquity to the early modern era. Additionally, the contributors examine theories of intentional and non-intentional reactivity, the process of fear-memory coding, and contemporary psychology’s emphasis on anxiety disorders. Overall, the authors point to fear as a dense and variable web of responses to external and internal stimuli. Our thinking about these reactions is just as complex. In response, this volume opens a dialogue between science and the humanities to afford a more complete view of an emotion that has shaped human behavior since time immemorial.
Fear of fire, flood, plague, invasion by the infidel, purgatory, death, witchcraft - these are just some of the fears that plagued the early modern world which are dealt with in this fascinating well-integrated collection of essays, based on extensive and ground-breaking new research. Drawing on British and Continental examples, the volume explores the panoply of personal and communal tragedies which tormented and terrified both elite and popular communities in this period, and shows how they formed strategies for dealing both practically and psychologically with their fears; it tells of the creation of the first fire service in France, of dog-massacres in times of plague in England, and of flood emergency plans in Holland.