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Worst Cases
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Worst Cases: Terror and Catastrophe in the Popular Imagination

Lee Clarke

Abstract

Al Qaeda detonates a nuclear weapon in Times Square during rush hour, wiping out half of Manhattan and killing 500,000 people. A virulent strain of bird flu jumps to humans in Thailand, sweeps across Asia, and claims more than fifty million lives. A single freight car of chlorine derails on the outskirts of Los Angeles, spilling its contents and killing seven million. An asteroid ten kilometers wide slams into the Atlantic Ocean, unleashing a tsunami that renders life on the planet as we know it extinct. We consider the few who live in fear of such scenarios to be alarmist or even paranoid. Bu ... More

Keywords: possible catastrophes, popular imagination, toxic spills, terrorism, plane crashes, pandemics, killer flu, fear, dread, worst cases

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2005 Print ISBN-13: 9780226108599
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226108605.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lee Clarke, author