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The Gift of Fear Paperback – February 9, 2021
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A carjacker lurking in a shopping mall parking lot. An abusive husband pounding on the door. A disgruntled employee brandishing a gun. These days, no one is safe from the specter of violence. But according to Gavin de Becker, everyone can feel safer, act safer, be safer — if they learn how to listen to their own sixth sense about danger.
De Becker has made a career of protecting people and predicting violent behavior. His firm handles security for many of the leading figures in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, and his computerized risk-assessment system helps analyze threats to members of Congress and the Supreme Court. Now, in this unprecedented guide, de Becker shares his expertise with everyone. Covering all the dangerous situations people typically face — street crime, domestic abuse, violence in the workplace — de Becker provides real-life examples and offers specific advice on restraining orders, self-defense, and more. But the key to self-protection, he demonstrates, is learning how to trust our own intuitions. For everyone who's ever felt threatened, this book is essential reading.
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"De Becker has a lot to say about crime and the fear of crime, and he says it persuasively...His blend of empathy, reassurance, and common sense wows readers."―Newsweek
"The Gift of Fear offers the gift of survival. Read it."―Linden Gross, author of To Have or to Harm
“Superb and compelling, bringing into focus the complexity of human response to real or perceived danger. De Becker redefines the parameters of fear and challenges the basis of a fear response. This book is for everyone who has ever feared.”―Ann Wolpert Burgess, Professor of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania
“This book can save your life…It should be read by everyone who wants to triumph over fear.”―Scott Gordon, former Chairman of the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council
“The ability to protect oneself from violent behavior, largely through one’s own intuition, is the central premise of de Becker’s book—thus, fear is a gift. The book taps the anxieties of an era.”―New York Times
“Gavin de Becker’s book is the first to explain that our powers of intuition are the best protection we have against violence.”―Daniel M. Petrocelli, lead counsel for plaintiffs in Fred Goldman v. O. J. Simpson
“A tour de force…Riveting, instructive, a book that dissects the phenomenon of violence, unravels its mysteries, and shows us how to prevail.”―Erika Holzer, author of Eye for an Eye
“Should be required reading for women and their loved ones. It offers potentially life-saving information in a style that is compelling. It is by far the best book I have read on how to handle violence, and I recommend it to one and all.”―Theresa Saldana, actress and founder of Victims for Victims
“Gavin de Becker’s brilliant insights and encyclopedic familiarity with the minds of criminals have made powerful contributions to the successful prosecution of many cases, including mine, and now he shares that knowledge with his readers.”―Marcia Clark, prosecutor
- Publisher : Back Bay Books; 1st edition (February 9, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316235776
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316235778
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book made all the difference. So many times women who have been attacked/raped describe how nice their attacker seemed seconds before. When I saw that his eyes had turned black and he had zero interest in that dog (who I think was a prop to get women to respond to him), I knew I had to get out and I did, thank God. Please buy this book and share-- it doesn't matter that it's 20 years old-- same thing applies today and then.
Top reviews from other countries
The premise of the book, in a nutshell, is: trust your instincts. The author takes you through the way your brain processes threats and the fact that, to your brain, it's a binary matter - stay or get the hell out of there. It doesn't consider that you need to know the ins and outs of why there is a threat, you just need to know that's the situation is dangerous and you need to do something about it. It highlights how the analytical part of your brain is too slow and by the time you realise why you are in danger it could be too late. The author takes the reader through a number of scenarios where the victim's life is saved by trusting their instincts and then breaks them down so that you can see what the warning signs were - warning signs missed by the conscious mind but picked up by the subconscious.
From there, the book takes the subject of risk very wide and includes advice on how to deal with obsessive people and stalkers and details their mindsets.
There is far too much to go into in an Amazon review but suffice to say The Gift of Fear provides an excellent guide to the psychology of people you would be better off avoiding and why, if you get a bad feeling about a person or a situation, you are probably right.
The Gift of Fear is highly readable. De Becker makes frequent use of anecdotes to highlight his principles and this prevents the book from becoming too bogged down in technical detail. I have read this book about four times now and I refer back to parts of it frequently. I do not consider myself to be particularly academic so most people should not find it to be too hard going. It is a solid, practical guide to risk, how to spot it, and why understanding what the risk is, is something best considered afterwards from a safe distance. It's extremely useful for keeping yourself safe but also provides a number of principles that can be used to advise others.
Instead of buying this book and wading through his self-promotion you could just tell yourself "be more alert in dangerous situations and act if you feel threatened" the end result is the same....