That’s Dis­gust­ing: Unrav­el­ing the Mys­ter­ies of Repulsion

  • From the Publisher
April 20, 2012
In this live­ly, col­or­ful new book, Rachel Herz answers the basic ques­tions that under­pin human nature from food pref­er­ences and sex­u­al attrac­tion to moral codes and polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy — by exam­in­ing them through the lens of a fas­ci­nat­ing sub­ject: dis­gust. A com­po­nent of fear and prej­u­dice, dis­gust also gives us pow­er­ful — some­times dis­turb­ing — insights into the fab­ric of soci­ety. For exam­ple, Herz’s book explains how and why by invok­ing a pro­pa­gan­da cam­paign cas­ti­gat­ing Jews as ver­min and can­cers the Nazi’s were so suc­cess­ful at incit­ing the motive to exter­mi­nate them. Draw­ing on the lat­est psy­cho­log­i­cal stud­ies and neu­ro­log­i­cal research, Herz shows how dis­gust is the most com­plex of human emo­tions– muta­ble by cul­ture, con­text, psy­chol­o­gy and biol­o­gy. What makes That’s Dis­gust­ing so remark­able is Herz’s abil­i­ty to weave these find­ings into a nar­ra­tive that tack­les impor­tant ques­tions. What mat­ters more: our brain wiring or our upbring­ing? Is there such a thing as nor­mal”? Why are we drawn to hor­ror? And how might politi­cians and mar­keters use dis­gust to manip­u­late us? Com­bin­ing lucid sci­en­tif­ic expla­na­tions and fas­ci­nat­ing research with a healthy dose of humor, That’s Dis­gust­ing illu­mi­nates issues that are cen­tral to our lives: lust, fear, death, empa­thy, prej­u­dice, food and hap­pi­ness.



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