Fear The History of a Political Idea

ISBN-10: 0195189124

ISBN-13: 9780195189124

Edition: 2006

Authors: Corey Robin

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Description:

For many commentators, September 11 inaugurated a new era of fear. But as Corey Robin shows in his unsettling tour of the Western imagination--the first intellectual history of its kind--fear has shaped our politics and culture since time immemorial. From the Garden of Eden to the Gulag Archipelago to today's headlines, Robin traces our growing fascination with political danger and disaster. As our faith in positive political principles recedes, he argues, we turn to fear as the justifying language of public life. We may not know the good, but we do know the bad. So we cling to fear, abandoning the quest for justice, equality, and freedom. But as fear becomes our intimate, we understand it less. In a startling reexamination of fear's greatest modern interpreters--Hobbes, Montesquieu, Tocqueville, and Arendt--Robin finds that writers since the eighteenth century have systematically obscured fear's political dimensions, diverting attention from the public and private authorities who sponsor and benefit from it. For fear, Robin insists, is an exemplary instrument of repression--in the public and private sector. Nowhere is this politically repressive fear--and its evasion--more evident than in contemporary America. In his final chapters, Robin accuses our leading scholars and critics of ignoring "Fear, American Style," which, as he shows, is the fruit of our most prized inheritances--the Constitution and the free market. With danger playing an increasing role in our daily lives and justifying a growing number of government policies, Robin's Fear offers a bracing, and necessary, antidote to our contemporary culture of fear.
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/26/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 336
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.012
Language: English

Corey Robin is Associate Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and the author of the award-winning Fear: The History of a Political Idea .

Acknowledgments
Fear
Introduction
History of an Idea
Fear
Terror
Anxiety
Total Terror
Remains of the Day
Fear, American Style
Sentimental Educations
Divisions of Labor
Upstairs, Downstairs
Conclusion: Liberalism Agonistes
Notes
Index
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