Read Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream Online Free - 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.
|Title||:||Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
September 17, 2017
Although this supposedly looks at how we incorrectly calculate relative risk in our daily lives, the first chapter was a condemnation of Donald Trump as a demagogue and of his supporters as overly reactive to America's current cultural and political situation. The author then moved on to how the...
December 02, 2017
Good points; I don't disagree, but not rigorous and less scientific than I expected. Many times, the narrative seemed to stray into purely partisan storytelling. It was more a partisan political rant with a couple nonpolitical anecdotes. No historical comparisons with other periods overridden wit...
March 13, 2017
Watch for my review in an upcoming issue of Library Journal.
November 28, 2017
Mr. Abamsky, as so others have also noted, observes how much post-9-11 America is awash with "things to be afraid of": terrorists, immigrants, jihadists, etc.
The book is useful in documenting how so much of this fear is both based upon relatively few instances -- and, upon ignoring the more real...
November 17, 2017
A solid, interesting and very timely premise — the exploitation of fear to advance political and business agendas. And the sections that deal with that are great, explaining a lot about how our discourse sunk to where it is.
The problem is the author often goes off on tangents to put a face on is...
September 26, 2017
Jumping at Shadows tackles the important topic of fear in the American psyche and its impact on our everyday lives.
Abramsky tries to dive into why Americans fear terrorism or plane crashes more than car crashes even though the latter kills far more in any given year among other topics.
October 10, 2017
A wise and in depth report on the state of a nation that is arguably the strongest, richest, and most secure in world history yet suffers chronic and traumatic dread of imagined dangers on all fronts. Abramsky shows just how bad off we are and the mess our fears have put us in. We cower in the fa...
October 03, 2017
Parts of this book illuminated our country's current situation and even shed light on the irrational and paranoid behavior I see in some of my own relatives--who are ruled by fear which is fed by right wing propaganda and social media.
But Abramsky rambles. And the rambling made this hard to read...
October 11, 2017
This is less a critical analysis than a discursive review of the topic at hand. That said, Abramsky deftly sifts through his topic with clarity and accuracy, uncovering some of what drives the destructive valorization of our culture around fear, violence, and reactionary progress. This is not a "...
December 07, 2017
Loved the parts about risk assessment, and why we struggle so much with that. Loved the reporting on specific individuals and places, and how fear has affected behavior. Did a nice job explaining the rise of Trumpism as well. However, it was a bit repetitive and uneven for my tastes, with surpris...