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The Nature of Fear


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About the Author

Daniel T. Blumstein is Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he codirects the Evolutionary Medicine Program. He is an elected Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society.


Clearly, The Nature of Fear is a book for this moment. Dread is all around, manifold and constant during the coronavirus pandemic, of course. But a particular theme of our escalating anxieties comes to the fore with Blumstein's book in hand: the fear of belonging to nature...As the pandemic brings into focus our biological fragility, the time seems apt to examine the nature of human fear through the lens of, well, nature. * The Atlantic *
A revelatory and masterful work by the world's authority on fear in animal societies. Blumstein focuses the lenses of animal behavior and evolution on very human anxieties and fears. The result is a beautifully written book rich in crucial insights, with salience for scientists, students, policy makers, and every human being navigating their way through our sometimes frightening world. -- Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, coauthor of Wildhood and Zoobiquity
Blumstein has studied fear in the animal kingdom for more than 30 years. In this highly readable book, he explains how related insights can help us do everything from composing scary music to managing biodiversity and imposing effective public health measures...Embrace your fears, and give it a read! * BBC Wildlife *
The Nature of Fear's main province is the fluttering pulse-rates of the broader animal kingdom, and that makes for mind-changing reading. -- Steve Donoghue * Open Letters Review *
This terrific book is a reminder that when we are afraid, we are not alone. Lizards have fear. Mice have fear. Marmots have fear. This feeling is ancient, and for many millions of years, it has guided animals' actions. If you want to understand the roots of fear, and also make more sense of your own life, read this book. -- Rob Dunn, author of Never Home Alone
Blumstein shows us how fear can be a positive force. When equipped with the knowledge of fear's origin, we have a blueprint for conquering it. Informed by animals and evolution, The Nature of Fear is a biological thriller that everyone needs to read. -- Brian Hare, coauthor of The Genius of Dogs
In this lively and informative book, Blumstein takes the study of fear from the laboratory into the wild to emphasize the costs and benefits of fear responses and their evolution. This novel approach has much to offer as we try to understand the origin of our own fears. -- Guy Beauchamp, author of Animal Vigilance: Monitoring Predators and Competitors
In this fascinating book, Daniel Blumstein explores the causes and consequences of fear for human and nonhuman animals, providing important insights into the ways that we all recognize and cope with risks in the course of our daily lives. -- Tim Clutton-Brock, author of Mammal Societies
The feature making this project most compelling is the thesis that fear can be chronic, inappropriate, and very costly...An enjoyable book. -- James Chadwick Johnson * Quarterly Review of Biology *
In this slim but packed book, Daniel Blumstein explores many facets of an emotion all animals feel: fear in all its different faces, broadening the discussion in ways that will challenge readers to re-examine the values of a trauma nobody likes. -- Steve Donoghue * Open Letters Review *

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