Here is required reading in the form of a most unusual self-help book. "The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence" begins with the story of a woman who was raped inside her own apartment but whose intuition saved her life. The woman came to see Gavin de Becker, the author of "The Gift of Fear," to learn what she did wrong (and right) in this situation -- and found that she already knew.
That is the lesson of this book: that we all have a reliable intuitive ability to predict danger. Gavin de Becker himself learned this lesson early. He grew up in a violent household and describes in the book how he watched his mother terrorize his stepfather with a gun, at the same time analyzing her every move to determine if he needed to get himself and his little sister out of the house.
Gavin de Becker is also Gavin de Becker, Inc., consulting with the federal government, corporations, women's shelters, celebrities, politicians, and private citizens. The U.S. attorney general and the director of the FBI gave him an award for his design of MOSAIC, the assessment system used for screening threats to justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. De Becker's is a trusted -- and compassionate -- voice.
"The Gift of Fear" is also available on audio. A smart choice for the solo jogger or gym-goer's walkman.
Reviewed by Danica Jefferson.