Fear is one of the most basic and most powerful of all the human emotions. Sometimes it is hauntingly specific: flames searing patterns on the ceiling, a hydrogen bomb, a terrorist. More often, anxiety overwhelms us from some source within: there is an irrational panic about venturing outside, a dread of failure, a premonition of doom. In this astonishing book we encounter the fears and anxieties of hundreds of British and American men, women and children. From fear of the crowd to agoraphobia, from battle experiences to fear of nuclear attack, from cancer to AIDS, this is an utterly original insight into the mindset of the twentieth century from one of most brilliant historians and thinkers of our time.