The Age of Insecurity

The Age of Insecurity

Coming Together as Things Fall Apart

Written by: Taylor, Astra

These days, everyone feels insecure. We are financially stressed and emotionally overwhelmed. The status quo isn’t working for anyone, even those who appear to have it all. What is going on?

In this urgent cultural diagnosis, author and activist Astra Taylor exposes how seemingly disparate crises—rising inequality and declining mental health, the ecological emergency, and the threat of authoritarianism—originate from a social order built on insecurity. From home ownership and education to the wellness industry and policing, many of the institutions and systems that promise to make us more secure actually undermine us.

Mixing social critique, memoir, history, political analysis, and philosophy, this genre-bending book rethinks both insecurity and security from the ground up. By facing our existential insecurity and embracing our vulnerability, Taylor argues, we can begin to develop more caring, inclusive, and sustainable forms of security to help us better weather the challenges ahead. The Age of Insecurity will transform how you understand yourself and society—while illuminating a path toward meaningful change.

These days, everyone feels insecure. We are financially stressed and emotionally overwhelmed. The status quo isn’t working for anyone, even those who appear to have it all. What is going on?

In this urgent cultural diagnosis, author and activist Astra Taylor exposes how seemingly disparate crises—rising inequality and declining mental health, the ecological emergency, and the threat of authoritarianism—originate from a social order built on insecurity. From home ownership and education to the wellness industry and policing, many of the institutions and systems that promise to make us more secure actually undermine us.

Mixing social critique, memoir, history, political analysis, and philosophy, this genre-bending book rethinks both insecurity and security from the ground up. By facing our existential insecurity and embracing our vulnerability, Taylor argues, we can begin to develop more caring, inclusive, and sustainable forms of security to help us better weather the challenges ahead. The Age of Insecurity will transform how you understand yourself and society—while illuminating a path toward meaningful change.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Sep 5, 2023
Specifications 352 pages | 5 in x 8 in
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Excerpt
Written By

ASTRA TAYLOR is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer, born in Winnipeg, MB, and raised in Athens, GA; she currently lives in New York. Her latest book is Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions, and her other books include the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She regularly writes for major publications, has directed multiple documentaries, toured with the band Neutral Milk Hotel, and co-founded the Debt Collective.

Written By

ASTRA TAYLOR is a filmmaker, writer, and political organizer, born in Winnipeg, MB, and raised in Athens, GA; she currently lives in New York. Her latest book is Remake the World: Essays, Reflections, Rebellions, and her other books include the American Book Award winner The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. She regularly writes for major publications, has directed multiple documentaries, toured with the band Neutral Milk Hotel, and co-founded the Debt Collective.

Commended, CBC 2023 Best Canadian Nonfiction, 2023

Taylor asks us to contemplate a better world … This ethic of insecurity, collectivism and egalitarianism should be on the forefront of every educator’s mind.

” —Winnipeg Free Press

The ideas that Taylor puts forth are not only radical, but world changing … The Age of Insecurity is exactly the right book at exactly the right time. That time is now.

” —The Tyee

Taylor makes the case for clearing away capitalism’s distracting, destabilising regime; Keltner for expanding and more clearly valuing our connections to each other, to our own depths and capacities, and to the grandeur and order of the world beyond.

” —New Statesman

A handbook for a new way forward.

” —Literary Review of Canada

Astra Taylor’s The Age of Insecurity made me feel I understood something obvious that I had overlooked before ... that we on the left can (and need to) offer a different, better conception of security.

” —Current Affairs

The Age of Insecurity doesn’t tackle those challenging questions. What it does, instead, is explain why our world hardly allows them to be posed and hardly gives us the breathing space to think about them. It is, yes, a readable and insightful analysis of our present. But we have a lot of those—maybe too many. What makes this book worth the reader’s time is its idiosyncratic blend of the personal and the public, the emotional and the economic.

” —Commonweal Magazine

In this brilliant and utterly original book, Astra Taylor tugs at two threads that run all through our social fabric and finds in the reality of insecurity and the idea of security an entirely new way to envision our problems and possibilities. It's a stunning work of social theory, but to call it that doesn't convey how much it touches on the troubles of this very moment, as well as their origins—while always reminding us that things can be different.

” —Rebecca Solnit, author of Men Explain Things To Me