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Laura Dodsworth chats with Zoë about her new book ‘A State of Fear’

Show Notes

Laura Dodsworth is an author, journalist, photographer and filmmaker and has been described as a 'latter-day punchy Cassandra' and a 'Slayer of Taboos'. Her previous books 'Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their stories', 'Manhood: The Bare Reality' and 'Womanhood: The Bare Reality' have attracted worldwide media coverage and excellent reviews. Laura and the creation of 'Womanhood' were the subject of a documentary for Channel 4, '100 Vaginas', which received 5 star reviews and has been broadcast around the world.

A State of Fear' is dark, compelling, determined and heartfelt. A timely and fascinating read.’
Neil Oliver, writer and broadcaster

This is a book about fear. Fear of a virus. Fear of death. Fear of losing our jobs, our democracy, our human connections, our health and our minds. It's also about how the government weaponised our fear against us – supposedly in our best interests – until we were one of the most frightened countries in the world.

But why did the government deliberately frighten us? How has this affected us as individuals and as a country? Who is involved in the decision-making that affects our lives? How are behavioural science and nudge theory being used to subliminally manipulate us? How does the media leverage fear? What are the real risks to our wellbeing?

Ahead of any official inquiry into the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, Laura Dodsworth explores all these questions and more, in a nuanced and thought-provoking discussion of an extraordinary year in British life and politics. With stories from members of the general public who were impacted by fear, anxiety and isolation, and revealing interviews with psychologists, politicians, scientists, lawyers, Whitehall advisers and journalists, A State of Fear calls for a more hopeful, transparent and effective democracy.

In this 40-minute conversation Laura explains the following:

- How someone known for three unique photography books came to write this ground-breaking book.
- How she set about writing this book. Whom she interviewed. Who went on record and who didn’t.
- How fear has been used to control people and to manipulate the narrative over the past year and, perhaps more importantly, why fear was used in this way.
- The impact that the fear campaign has had on people and things that have been done that people may not even have realised.

We also discuss:

- Can fear be sustained for that long?
- What impact might this have had on the population?
- What are the health impacts that you heard of in first person accounts?
- What might happen next?

This show is also available on the following channels
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You can find more about Laura at and more about the book here and on Twitter here

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