David Frum’s take on the current American anxiety

From The Daily Beast, here.

Money quote:

In 1959, during the golden age of the American middle class, bestselling writer Allen Drury set the scene for his novel Advise and Consent by describing a world that “had seen America rise and rise and rise, some sort of golden legend to her own people, some sort of impossible fantasy to others …”
This is the fear that haunts us now, the worry above all worries: Has the golden legend of America-the constantly renewed promise of a better economic future for its citizens-finally reached an end? And if so, what alternative future awaits us?

High anxiety at the Sunday Times Magazine

Robin Henig has an extensive piece in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine focused on anxiety and the work of Harvard developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan (along with many of his students who are now independent investigators).

I found the piece to be curiously anecdotal in terms of its presentation of very extensive longitudinal data–perhaps satisfying for non-scientists, but quite frustrating for those of us who want to look at actual data to prove or disprove hypotheses.
Nevertheless, the piece raises the excellent question of the extent to which the phenomenon we call anxiety is deeply linked the the limbic brain structure called the amygdala. The latest fMRI studies are at least able to provide something beyond classic psychometric tests.