Mini-review: The Gift of Fear

GiftofFear-coverI just read The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence, by Gavin de Becker.  It’s been around for a while, first published in 1997; I read the 2010 “Special” Kindle edition, which for what I can tell means a new foreword, some updates in the text, but poor translation to electronic format (sections of paragraphs were occasionally repeated.)

It’s a great book, an excellent primer in sorting through genuine warning signals and manufactured worry, on building and using one’s intuition about danger. I only wish it could be updated to include recent technological developments like the Web and smartphones.

I read it because of a friend who is trying to detach herself from an ex-boyfriend turned stalker, but this book also  discusses many other situations we may encounter: disgruntled employees, abusive family relationships, celebrity stalkers, etc.  Since it focuses on recognizing true warning signs of danger and separating them from hype, it felt awfully topical this week with the news of yet another school shooting and the way the shooter had announced his plans.

I suspect many people could benefit from reading it, but I think all women should.