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Nerve Cover


Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool

By Taylor Clark

Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316042895, 320pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2011


Nerves make us bomb job interviews, first dates, and SATs. With a presentation looming at work, fear robs us of sleep for days. It paralyzes seasoned concert musicians and freezes rookie cops in tight situations. And yet not everyone cracks. Soldiers keep their heads in combat; firemen rush into burning buildings; unflappable trauma doctors juggle patient after patient. It's not that these people feel no fear; often, in fact, they're riddled with it.

In Nerve, Taylor Clark draws upon cutting-edge science and painstaking reporting to explore the very heart of panic and poise. Using a wide range of case studies, Clark overturns the popular myths about anxiety and fear to explain why some people thrive under pressure, while others falter-and how we can go forward with steadier nerves and increased confidence.

About the Author
Taylor Clark is a writer based in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Dartmouth College and a Pacific Northwest native, he has written for "GQ," "Slate," and "Psychology Today," among other publications.

Praise For Nerve

Praise for NERVE:

"This is an improbably charming and witty book about a disturbing and flummoxing subject. More than that, though, Taylor Clark has made me less afraid of being afraid."-Tom Bissell, author of Extra LivesTom Bissell, Extra Lives

"[A] smart and entertaining account...Nerve is intelligent, very well-written and generally persuasive."—John Strawn, The Oregonian

"Hilarious, approachable and certainly enlightening... Clark manages to make Nerve pack a seriously entertaining punch... it's clever, relevant and amusing."—Katelyn Schmidt, Tampa Tribune

"Intelligent and sharp-witted...the best book on fear I've ever read."—Therese Borchard, PyschCentral