The Culture of Fear

  • by Barry Glassner
  • Narrated by Barry Glassner, Michael Moore
  • 4 hrs and 40 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

America is a country gripped by fear. In this widely-acclaimed book, Barry Glassner exposes the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit from our anxieties. These peddlers of fear (politicians, advocacy groups, and the media) cost Americans dearly, weighing us down with needless worries and causing us to squander billions of dollars to fix mythological problems. Topics like lethal road rage get major play in the media, even though one is far more likely to be killed by lightning. Meanwhile, we fail to correct the true cause of a problem; for instance, instead of enacting tougher gun laws, we erect more prisons. Ultimately reassuring, The Culture of Fear diagnoses the predominant pathology of our age and provides a passionate cry for a return to rationality.This audio edition includes an exclusive introduction by documentary filmmaker and author Michael Moore.

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What the Critics Say



Audie Award Finalist, Non-Fiction (abridged), 2005
"A critical look at the baseless, harmful paranoia spread by our mass media....One of the most important sociological books you'll read this year, and certainly the most reassuring." (Kirkus)
"A gutsy expose of one of the most widespread delusions of our time: misplaced fear." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"[Glassner] wields an impressive body of research and consequently enjoys the power of redefining reality for a moment in history." (Salon)
"Oddly comforting....Glassner's delivery is serious but not emotionless....virtually everyone will leave this book with a more realistic, guardedly optimistic world view." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well documented critique

I had heard great things about this book and was suprised to see some of the negative reviews on this site. After listening, rather than having a "left wing agenda," my take was that this was a very well thought and documented intellectual critique of the media. It debunks issues on both sides of the political spectrum and the author backs up his argument with compelling or outright overwhelming factual information including studies, articles, and so on.

Another criticism on this site was about how inconcievable "political correctness" being created by the right could be. I was especially interested in this and the author does a great job of making his argument and backing it up with documentation. I wonder if the reviewer even listened that closely?

My only criticism is the book is read by the author. The reading is a little dry, not as exciting as some of the other books I've heard. But that's somewhat to be expected with a book of this nature. Overall, I'd recommend it.
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- Steve

A really enjoyable social science listen...

I enjoyed every minute of this audiobook. This one is intellectual, but easy to understand for anyone. A little bit philosophy, a lot social science, and a bit of wit here and there. My favorite audio book to date, and I listen a lot.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-27-2003
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.