The real roots of American rage

When we scrutinize the sources of our anger, we should see clearly that our rage is often being stoked not for our benefit but for someone else’s. If we can stop and see the anger merchants’ self-serving motives, we can perhaps start to loosen their grip on us.

Though anger and the desire for revenge can feel intertwined, they are two distinct emotions. Simply becoming angry doesn’t prompt a revenge impulse.

Anger, Averill concluded, is one of the densest forms of communication. It conveys more information, more quickly, than almost any other type of emotion. And it does an excellent job of forcing us to listen to and confront problems we might otherwise avoid.

Charles Duhigg on the boiling cauldron of anger that, once it began to overflow, led to the current political and social landscape.

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