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Nerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool by [Clark, Taylor]
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4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Length: 302 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Why, in a world where we have created secure buffers against our worst fears, are so many of us so anxious? And why do some people exhibit nerves of steel under stressful and fearful conditions while others wilt? Clark (Starbucked) explores these questions by briefly examining the neuroscience of fear, and then collecting numerous stories of individuals who have remained calm against all odds in fearful life-and-death situations. For example, in 1991, principal Daniel Stockwell faced down a rifle barrel as he negotiated with a high school student holding him hostage. Although he was later praised for his calm, Stockwell admitted that he worked with his fear, rather than banishing it, in order to face the situation. Clark draws out of these tales a dozen quick tips for retaining your nerve in the face of stress, such as learning to accept uncertainty, breathing, and opening up to fear unconditionally. Unfortunately his meandering and simplistic approach offers neither new insights into the nature of anxiety nor any new perspectives on handling it. (Mar.)

From Booklist

Clark, author of Starbucked (2007), maintains his light, frequently humorous tone in this (mostly) serious look at the psychology of stress. Drawing on various forms of research, and numerous real-life stories, the author explores the reasons why we feel stress, our responses to it, and what we can do to deal with it constructively. Clark takes us through the history of stress research, from early breakthroughs (Walter Cannon�s 1915 elucidation of the fight-or-flight response) to experimental research (�most of what we know about the science of fear comes from tormenting rats,� Clark wryly observes) to today�s cutting-edge explorations of the workings of the human brain. The subjects of his real-life stories of dealing with stress under intense pressure range from Russian sub commanders to game-show contestants to tsunami survivors to pro athletes to musicians. The author makes some shrewd observations (for example, that Cannon�s fight-or-flight response leaves out a third F: freeze), and, unlike many authors of popular-science books, he really knows how to write, too: the book is informative, engaging, and, in quite a few places, funny. --David Pitt

Product details

  • File Size: 584 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (March 6, 2011)
  • Publication Date: March 6, 2011
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047Y16GC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,005 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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