In late 2002, Barry Glassner appeared in Michael Moore's Academy Award-winning movie, Bowling for Columbine, to discuss The Culture of Fear. The reaction to Glassner's appearance, and the message of his book, were overwhelming.As Glassner describes, the American public remains fascinated by the specter of fear in their lives. Be it the proverbial dark-faced bogeyman, or a more recent epidemic of child snatchings, Americans allow their lives to be affected by a perceived and recurrent onslaught of tragedy, death, and fear.A national bestseller, The Culture of Fear explains why Americans are afraid, exposing the people and organizations that manipulate our perceptions and profit off our anxieties: politicians who attempt to win elections by heightening concerns about drug use and crime; advocacy groups that raise money by exaggerating the prevalence of particular diseases; and finally and perhaps most perniciously, the media that peddle new scares each week in desperate attempts to garner ratings.Written in a vivid, entertaining style, The Culture of Fear does more than debunk prevalent myths of impending doom, it also asks us to reconsider our participation in the national charade of fear and suspicion which, according to Glassner, is eroding the trust necessary to truly ensure safety in the public square.
"USC sociologist Barry Glassner has written a gutsy exposÚ of one of the most widespread delusions of our time: misplaced fear. Glassner demonstrates with precision and clarity that Americans today have built what he calls a 'culture of fear' by buying into rumors and hearsay that pass for facts."
Los Angeles Times, 12/9/1999