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Publisher's Summary

The startling new science behind sudden acts of violence committed by ordinary, sane people from a leading neurobiologist.
According to R. Douglas Fields, PhD, we all have a rage circuit we can't fully control once it is engaged. The daily headlines are filled with examples of otherwise rational people with no history of violence or mental illness suddenly snapping in a domestic dispute, barroom brawl, or road rage attack. We all wish to believe that we are in control of our actions, but the fact is, in certain circumstances we are not. Something in our environment can unexpectedly unleash an automatic and complex rage response.
Dr. Fields is an internationally recognized neurobiologist and authority on the brain and the cellular mechanisms of memory. He has spent years trying to understand the biological basis of rage and anomalous violence, and he has concluded that our culture's understanding of the problem is based on an erroneous assumption: that rage attacks are the product of morally or mentally defective individuals rather than a capacity that we all possess. The sad truth is that the right trigger in the right circumstance can unleash a fit of rage in almost anyone. And as Dr. Fields reveals and details for the first time, there are precisely nine triggers.
Fields shows that violent behavior is the result of the clash between our evolutionary hardwiring and triggers in our contemporary world. Our personal space is more crowded than ever, we get less sleep, and we just aren't as fit as our ancestors. We need to understand how the hardwiring works and how to recognize the nine triggers.
With a totally new perspective, engaging narrative, and practical advice, Why We Snap uncovers the biological roots of the rage response and how we can protect ourselves - and others.
©2015 R. Douglas Fields (P)2015 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Raleigh on 03-08-17

it helps to understand the wiring

? did you grow up in a family of anger and loud accusation
? are you prone to sudden episodes of frustration and rage
? does the world seem unnecessarily difficult and threatening

r. douglas fields has written an insightful book to try to help you
the book does not provide therapy as much as awareness and early recognition
it assists in understanding the ancient internal wiring of our minds

within our brains are circuits built to recognize and abate serious threats
the survival advantage of these circuits is, to some, quite obvious and necessary
? but we live in an increasingly safe, relational, healthy, orderly and quiet world

this is especially true for those lucky enough to live in the USA after 1944
life now rewards those who are clever, charming, and able to gage emotional tone
? of what use is this primitive ability to quickly gage: friend vs. foe or danger vs. safety

continued studies in functional neuroanatomy will provide additional insights
r. douglas fields' duties at the NIH give him ready access to these new findings
i suspect the book may be revised, updated and amplified in the years to come

an old patient of mine, a retired USMC colonel, had a poster in his garage
if our world becomes more dangerous, these age-old circuits may find new uses

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Susan on 05-05-16

Just Read the Excerpt and Skip the Rest

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I was expecting a book on the level of “The Other Brain” by the same author. I live in Philadelphia where this kind of rage incident happens serially. It is often fueled by drugs but not always. I think part of the problem is that this particular neuroscientist still thinks that the brain evolved from something else(I have no idea what). He completely negates the spiritual component of rage which erupts as people harbor their own accumulation of rage, built up over a lifetime of perceived wrongs. As Christians, we have an outlet in prayer and a helper, in the Spirit of God which hopefully diffuses much of our rage.

What other book might you compare Why We Snap to and why?

A Mind of Its’ Own (Fine) or any number of books full of psychobabble that I occasionally buy by mistake.

What about Graham Winton’s performance did you like?

Yes, it was fine. I think he completely captured the emotional tone of the book and did what he could with less than exceptional writing.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Great disappointment. I really thought he had something that his experience as a neuroscientist would unlock some mysteries of the unexplained horrors of people who become predators for some reason. He had very little evidence for any explanation.

Any additional comments?

I think maybe Dr. Fields should take up checkers?

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0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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