Jumping at Shadows by Sasha Abramsky
The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream

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Though his argument can seem broad or overly tailored to current trends, Abramsky presents a clearly written synthesis of science and sociology. A thoughtful progressive feint against the vulgar fearmongering of the moment.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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 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 readers 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.
 

About Sasha Abramsky

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Sasha Abramsky is a freelance journalist. His work has appeared in the Nation, Atlantic Monthly, Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. In 2000 he was awarded a Soros Society, Crime, and Communities Media Fellowship, and he is currently a senior fellow at Demos. He resides in Sacramento, California.
 
Published September 5, 2017 by Nation Books. 304 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Kirkus

Above average
on Jun 12 2017

Though his argument can seem broad or overly tailored to current trends, Abramsky presents a clearly written synthesis of science and sociology. A thoughtful progressive feint against the vulgar fearmongering of the moment.

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