A few decades ago the existence of collective fear had an immediately identifiable face - the nuclear bomb. Now it is much more complex. The fear is created by tyranny and by furtive, invisible power, the power of the quasi-state, and terrorism. For Soyinka, 11th September 2001 did not instigate the development of the climate of fear that has enveloped the world, it was in 1989 when, a few months before the Lockerbie disaster, a passenger plane was brought down by terrorists over the Republic of Niger. From Niger to Manhattan, and now to Madrid, this climate of fear has stretched to engulf the globe, warning its inhabitants that there is now no distinction between the involved or non-involved. We are all potential targets. From the fear of a terrorist with a bomb in his bag to the threat of a virus sent by a computer hacker with a lust for destruction, fear of the invisible threat is now omnipresent. In this extraordinary book, developed from the 2004 BBC Radio 4 Reith Lectures, Soyinka explores the changing face of fear: the conflict between power and freedom; the complex motives behind unthinkable acts of violence; the meaning of human dignity; while comparing the fanaticism of powerful terrorists with the attitude of world leaders - discovering terrifying similarities.