Due for release 6th September 2018

Nervous States

How Feeling Took Over the World

William Davies

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In this age of emotional political conflict, there is less and less to agree upon. Experts are no longer respected as impartial; public debate is reduced to attack and counter-attack; the boundary between facts and propaganda seems to be dissolving. We live in a world not quite at war but nor exactly at peace.

How did things reach this point, and what can we do about it? In this enlightening, far-reaching and provocative book, William Davies explores how physical and emotional feeling came to reshape our world today, destabilizing governments and placing us all on high-alert. Drawing on a 400-year history of scientific and political ideas, he shows how our sensations were once treated with suspicion, before being seized enthusiastically as a path to mass mobilisation in war.

As we enter a new technological and political era, this book reveals the origins of the nervous states in which we now live.

  • Jonathan Cape
  • Published 6th September 2018
  • 224 Pages
  • £18.99