Against the Grain

Fear Itself

Fear is a central part of American life — and has been so at least since the early Cold War, according to historian Elaine Tyler May.  She argues that while there are many things that Americans should be deeply concerned about, including climate change and vast wealth inequality, we are obsessed with threats like crime, which has been falling for decades. May discusses our displaced anxieties and their political ramifications.


Elaine Tyler May, Fortress America: How We Embraced Fear and Abandoned Democracy Basic Books, 2017

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