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In 1942, a pianist from Manhattan convened the inaugural meeting of an extraordinary new fraternity, which promised to inoculate stage fright sufferers against the terrors that afflicted them. The venture, which coincided with the terrifying height of World War Two, was an astonishing success. They called it The Society of Timid Souls. Seventy years later, as anxiety levels reaches pandemic proportions, courage has become a virtue in crisis. We are all Timid Souls now. So Polly Morland reconvenes the Society for a new era, and sets out on a fact-finding mission. From the woman who performed her own caesarean section, to the surfer who took on a murderous sea, by way of freedom fighters, public speakers and emergency services workers, she seeks the truth about what courage today really means and how it comes about. From frontline to skyscraper, from mountain peak to suburban street, the journey takes in philosophy, literature, propaganda and popular culture, as Morland weaves together a modern anatomy of an age-old virtue, in order to discover how a Timid Soul may become a brave one.
Profile Books Ltd
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