Anxiety. It’s being called the disease of the 21st century. Everybody is either afflicted – or knows someone who is. According to the World Health Organization, disorders related to dread are the most prevalent mental illness on the globe at the moment. Some of us shriek at spiders, others have panic attacks that flare up out of nowhere and mimic the symptoms of heart failure, still others worry excessively about everything and nothing – violent crime, cancer, black bears, tornadoes. Is anxiety a disease of modernity? Or is our highly competitive and material culture itself undermining our nerves? The Age of Anxiety examines what anxiety is, and how and why it is being re-defined by the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Is our anxiety fueling an industry that in turn is profiting from and exploiting our dread in a vicious and self-perpetuating cycle?