Home > What I've Read > Book Review: The Gift of Fear

Book Review: The Gift of Fear

Logically, I should have given The Gift of Fear a higher rating but I went with my gut instinct and gave it three stars. Although there is good information and interesting insights in the book, perhaps Gavin de Becker’s chosen profession and/or troubled upbringing skewed his perspective somewhat. Branding Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke as date rape advocates strikes me as “just a bit outside.” (to quote fellow philosopher Bob Uecker). To wit:

“Rousseau asked: ‘Why do you consult their words when it is not their mouths that speak?’ Locke spoke of a man’s winning ‘silent consent’ by reading it in a woman’s eyes ‘in spite of the mouth’s denial.’ Locke even asserted that a man is protecting a woman’s honor when he ignores her refusal: ‘If he then completes his happiness, he is not brutal, he is decent.’ In Locke’s world, date rape wouldn’t be a crime at all—it would be a gentleman’s act of courtesy.”

I was also a bit put off by an author who lectures for 350 pages on how to be attune to genuine threats of physical danger, yet would deny readers the tools to defend themselves…

“…let me be clear: I am not challenging our so-called right to bear arms (in whose name, by the way, more Americans have died at home than have died at war). And I am not advocating gun control…[But–]”

Best read with a grain of salt.  (3 of 5 Stars)

Link to The Gift of Fear on Amazon

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Categories: What I've Read
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