Against Security

  • by Harvey Molotch
  • Narrated by Clinton Wade
  • 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Remember when an unattended package was just that, an unattended package? Remember when the airport was a place that evoked magical possibilities, not the anxiety of a full-body scan? In the post-9/11 world, we have become focused on heightened security measures, but do you feel safer? Are you safer?
Against Security explains how our anxieties about public safety have translated into command-and-control procedures that annoy, intimidate, and are often counterproductive. Taking listeners through varied ambiguously dangerous sites, the prominent urbanist and leading sociologist of the everyday, Harvey Molotch, argues that we can use our existing social relationships to make life safer and more humane. He begins by addressing the misguided strategy of eliminating public restrooms, which deprives us all of a basic resource and denies human dignity to those with no place else to go. Subway security instills fear through programs like "See Something, Say Something" and intrusive searches that have yielded nothing of value. At the airport, the security gate causes crowding and confusion, exhausting the valuable focus of TSA staff. Finally, Molotch shows how defensive sentiments have translated into the vacuous Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site and massive error in New Orleans, both before and after Hurricane Katrina. Throughout, Molotch offers thoughtful ways of maintaining security that are not only strategic but improve the quality of life for everyone.
Against Security argues that with changed policies and attitudes, redesigned equipment, and an increased reliance on our human capacity to help one another, we can be safer and maintain the pleasure and dignity of our daily lives.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A brilliant analysis of security and design.

Where does Against Security rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The most intelligent and thought provoking work on Audible.


What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

A brilliant interdisciplinary analysis of security and design.


What does Clinton Wade bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

An articulate and compelling voice that captures the excellent writing of the book.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't stop listening the first time. I had to listen for a second time to better understand some of the theoretical framework - it is a truly mind expanding work.


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- Rev.

This guy loves to hear himself think

Would you try another book from Harvey Molotch and/or Clinton Wade?

Observations and suggestions from an author who grounds his thoughts vis-a-vis the application of security in anecdotal observations. Poorly researched with little substantiation for the suggested changes. Not recommend


Has Against Security turned you off from other books in this genre?

no, I am an avid reader of all things security


Would you be willing to try another one of Clinton Wade’s performances?

a little too monotone for me. I would try another read by him as my overall impression has been clouded by the content of the book


What character would you cut from Against Security?

not applicable


Any additional comments?

It is very clear from the opening chapter of this book the bias that exists with the author coupled with the interjection of his personal life threaded throughout the book makes it very difficult to take seriously his suggestions. If he wishes to present a book of this kind to be taken seriously than something a bit more objective would be better received.

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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-03-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios