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The Society of Timid Souls Or, How to be Brave by Polly Morland

The Society of Timid Souls Or, How to be Brave

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Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2013.

An inspiring, revelatory and often moving investigation of courage in all its forms. 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.

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The Society of Timid Souls Or, How to be Brave by Polly Morland

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.

About the Author

Polly Morland

During fifteen years as a documentary-maker, Polly Morland worked as producer/director for the BBC and Channel Four, as well as for PBS and the Discovery Channel. Subjects she tackled included: the investigation of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia, the reclusion of J.D. Salinger, the conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11, the economics of organised crime, the archaeology of ancient Britain, the rise of political terror groups in Europe and Latin America and a controversial history of the Bible. In a moment of courage, Morland left her job to write this book. She was awarded a Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award to support writing The Society of Timid Souls.

Author photo © John Searle

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Book Info

Publication date

25th April 2013


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