The Triumph of Death (detail), by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1562–63. Prado Museum.
In “Petrified Forest,” his introductory essay to Fear, Lewis Lapham considers fear as a quintessentially American consumer product. He asks, “How does it come to pass that American society at the moment stands on constant terror alert?” From the nuclear threats driving the Cold War to the wars on drugs and terror, fear continues to serve as “the foundation of all government, the law, or the commandment that maintains peace on earth, the hold on property, goodwill toward men.”
Listen to him read his essay.
This recording is made possible by a gift from James J. “Jimmy” Coleman Jr.