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Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger

Harvey Molotch


The inspections we put up with at airport gates and the endless warnings we get at train stations, on buses, and all the rest are the way we encounter the vast apparatus of U.S. security. Like the wars fought in its name, these measures are supposed to make us safer in a post-9/11 world. But do they? This book explains how these regimes of command-and-control not only annoy and intimidate but are counterproductive. The book takes the reader through the sites, the gizmos, and the politics to urge greater trust in basic citizen capacities—along with smarter design of public spaces. The book crit ... More

Keywords: U.S. security, command, control, airport security, body search, Hurricane Katrina, disaster response, public restrooms, crises, fear

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780691163581
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691163581.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Harvey Molotch, author
New York University