By Peter N. Stearns
Americans became excessively nervous, and manipulation via worry has turn into an important challenge in American society, with actual impression on coverage. by utilizing information from Sep 11, this publication makes a particular contribution to the exploration of contemporary worry, but additionally through constructing a ancient viewpoint, the publication indicates how and why special American fears have emerged over the last numerous many years.
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Additional info for American Fear: The Causes and Consequences of High Anxiety
The contrast with contemporary British measures, at its embassies, is again striking. In Abu Dhabi, for example, the British did ban parking directly in front of the embassy and constructed a higher wall—but one that remained attractive and in keeping with local custom; concrete slabs were not involved. And in this respect, not surprisingly, American fear proves contagious: the number of Arabs interested in visiting these grim outposts of fortress America, toward possible tourism or business, has dropped precipitously.
So while fear of foreign threat crops up in many situations, always bringing some irrational overtones, there is reason to explore the magnitude of American reactions and, possibly, some of the particular kinds of irrationality involved. The analytical challenge here must not be denied: it would be far simpler if American fears had no comparative or historical precedent, but obviously this is not the case. Proving that the public climate became more fearful than the threat warranted is no easy task, though fortunately (at least for analytical purposes) showing how this fit a wider pattern of personal and public fear is less difficult.
This means, by definition, that reactions to the attack are hard to compare to responses to foreign threats in other times or other places. But the comparison is essential despite its difficulty. We are contending that the emotions roused by the September 11 attacks, directly and in subsequent policy, went beyond logical necessity, and if this claim, however cautious, is to go beyond mere assertion, it needs some juxtaposition with roughly similar (never exactly similar) experiences elsewhere. The focus is on placing the contemporary in relevant comparative context—with comparisons ranging in past time and across recent space.
American Fear: The Causes and Consequences of High Anxiety by Peter N. Stearns