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Fear

A Cultural History

List Price: $18.95

April 9, 2007 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 520 pages | ISBN 9781593761547
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Fear — the word, itself, conjures the appropriate response. With a dark cacophony of associations like fright, dread, horror, panic, alarm, anxiety, and terror, fear is universally understood as one of the most basic and powerful of human emotions, obtaining a nearly palpable and overwhelming substance in today’s world.

In this groundbreaking book, acclaimed historian and prize–winning author Joanna Bourke covers the landscape of fear over the past two hundred years: From the nineteenth century dread of being buried alive — a subject dear to the heart of Edgar Allen Poe — to the current worry over being able to die when one chooses; from the diagnoses of phobias and anxieties produced by psychotherapists and lovingly catalogued, to the role of popular culture and media in inciting panic and dread; from the horrors of the nuclear age to the fear of twenty–first century terrorism, Fear tells the story of anguish in modern times.

A blend of social and cultural history with psychology, philosophy, and popular science, this astonishing book — exhaustively researched and beautifully written — offers strikingly original insights into the mind and worldview of the “long twentieth century” from one of the most brilliant scholars of our time.

About Joanna Bourke

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, where she has taught since 1992. She is a Fellow of the British Academy. Her books range from the social and economic history of Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to social histories of the British working classes between 1860 and 1960s, to cultural histories of military conflict between the Anglo-Boer war and the present. She explores history through the lens of gender, ivtersectionalities, and subjectivities. She has worked on the history of the emotions, particularly fear and hatred, and the history of sexual violence. In the past few years, her research has focused on questions of humanity, militarisation, and pain. She wrote a book entitled What It Means to Be Human. In 2014, she published two books: Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War Games Invade Our World and The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers.

Praise
"Bourke performs a sterling service, painstakingly picking over usually bypassed sources and materials for hidden clues as to what scares us."

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