We’re all afraid of something. But what is it that Americans, collectively, are afraid of (or told to be afraid of)? This book looks at how fear is perpetuated in the United States and offers a compelling argument for why our fears are vital to our survival.
The Merchants of Fear takes a unique approach in developing the fundamental argument that despite our nation’s emphasis on freedom, Americans often see their freedoms reduced as a reaction to fear. The expressed intention of this book is to examine how fear is used by government officials, big business, and corporate organizations to mold public policy and drive profits for the media.
Christopher Catherwood and Joseph DiVanna argue that the use of fear to influence social and economic change is not new. In fact, there is a long history of its use in the United States over the past two hundred years to help effect a particular outcomeso much so that scaremongering is now commonplace and part of our collective psyche. For example, watch Fox News, and if the yelling doesn’t get to you, the alarming nature of its messages and news stories are enough to send anyone running for cover. Fearin all its forms (past and present)is examined through historical documents to the events and decisions that are affecting Americans today. Corporations, large and small, have successfully used fear to hoodwink consumers into purchasing any number of products, from personal safety items to terrorist insurance.
Be afraid. Be very afraid!
This is an important new work that every American should read, no matter his or her party affiliation, religion, or age. Timely and relevant in this post9/11 world, it leaves us with a question that all Americans must ask themselves: “Are we any safer now, or are we simply more aware of being afraid?”