8 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Kristin P. (~kristin~) reviewed The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things on
Helpful Score: 7
Reading this book was an eye-opening experience. Just finding out that no one had ever actually been poisoned by a stranger with Halloween candy really opened my eyes to how Americans are inundated with messages about fearing things that aren't real threats while we don't hear anything about the things that are real problems in our society. This book is a must-read!
botias - reviewed The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things on
Helpful Score: 2
I had heard pretty good things about this book but was disappointed in it (and actually gave up on it with about 60 pages to go.) The chapters each cover different subjects but they all are making the same point: media plays up a new fear periodically by bending statistics and using sensationalized reporting. Even with new subjects the theme was repetitive.
Also, the author does have his own pet fear: he is afraid of guns. And he is willing to use the same type of incomplete (and/or discredited) statistics he accuses media of using in other subjects in an attempt to inspire his fear in readers.
Needs a major revision after September 11th. When I read it (not sure if it was this version), he claimed to have updated the book (it was written in 1999), but he hadn't really changed the information.
In this eye-opening examination of a pathology that has swept the country, the noted sociologist Barry Glassner reveals why Americans are burdened with overblown fears. He exposes the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our anxieties: politicians who win elections by heightening concerns about crime and drug use even as both are declining; advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases; TV news-magazine that monger a new scare every week to garner ratings.
A somewhat depressing read, this author tells us of the organizations and groups that manipulate American consciousness in ways that will allow them to profit from our feelings of malaise. The debilitating effects of fear on a national scale....