Likening the soul-saving indulgences sold by the medieval Catholic Church to today’s carbon credits, Cockburn traces his subject through the ages, showing how fear is used to distract us from real problems and real solutions. Skewering doomsters on both the Left and Right, A Short History of Fear tackles: 9/11 conspiracy theories; the twentieth-century witch craze of “satanic abuse”; eugenics; the Kennedy assassination, Pearl Harbor, and other “inside jobs”; terrorism; the “Great Fear” of the eighteenth century; today’s eleventh-hour predictions of planetary decline; and much more. Scathing, often hilarious, and always insightful, this is Cockburn at the top of his controversial game.
Alexander Cockburn is co-editor of the online journal CounterPunch and has authored and edited numerous books, including the best-selling Whiteout, with Jeffrey St. Clair. He is a syndicated national columnist, whose work appears regularly in The Nation, New York Free Press, and Los Angeles Times, among others.
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