Against Security
How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger - Updated Edition
Harvey Molotch
With a new preface by the author


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? Against Security explains how these regimes of command-and-control not only annoy and intimidate but are counterproductive. Sociologist Harvey Molotch takes us through the sites, the gizmos, and the politics to urge greater trust in basic citizen capacities—along with smarter design of public spaces. In a new preface, he discusses abatement of panic and what the NSA leaks reveal about the real holes in our security.

Harvey Molotch is professor of sociology and metropolitan studies at New York University. His other books include the classic Urban Fortunes and the more recent Where Stuff Comes From.