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According to a 2004 Indiana University study on behavioral and life changes since 9/11, that event caused lasting, underlying anxiety, suspiciousness, and isolation in the United States. Here, popular author and clinician Stout (The Sociopath Next Door) examines the dynamics of that process, beginning with an assessment of how readers are personally affected, including a self-scoring anxiety test. This is followed by an analysis of terrorism and its effects. The author introduces neuropsychological concepts and compares political terrorism with the private terrorism of domestic violence and other traumas. In her view, such actions short-circuit normal brain functioning and trigger pathological individual and collective behavior. She also delves into the politics of fear whereby "fear brokers" exploit negative psychological states in society for their own personal and political goals. Finally, the author briefly considers how individuals can become more resilient and hopeful about the future. Although Stout's ideas are bold, relevant, and appropriately referenced, her tone often seems more political than psychological, especially in the last sections on minimizing the threat of terrorism post-9/11. Nevertheless, she provides a valuable if not totally satisfactory counterpoint to political fear-mongering about terrorism. Recommended for large public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/15/07.]
Posted February 15, 2013
This book explains how we got where we are since 9/11/2001. Why we are at each others' throats, divided and fortified against each other, in a classic textbook display of tribalism. One word is the answer: FEAR. If you'd like to know why those who don't agree with you make you SO angry, you should read this book.
Is this our choice or were we all manipulated not only into war, but also into tearing the very fabric of our society in our desperation to be SAFE?
Martha Stout not only explains how we got here but also shows the pathway to take back our minds and our lives as well as our country.
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