Eastman calls for a greater awareness of one’s individual surroundings, both physical and digital, in this debut work of self-improvement.
Protector to the stars, Eastman is mortified by how unnecessarily vulnerable people have allowed themselves to become via their unquestioning embrace of distracting technologies. “Our senses are designed to hear, smell, and see the world,” he writes, “yet we constantly tune the world out by smashing our ears against headphones, watching television at compulsive levels, and gluing our existence to smartphones.” A 12-year Army veteran who now operates a prestige security company catering to the rich and famous, Eastman remains well acquainted with all the ways strangers can harm one of his clients, be it in person through physical contact or remotely through accessing and sharing private information. With this book, Eastman seeks to increase people’s awareness of all the potential threats that exist in the world—threats to which individuals open themselves up through thoughtless, inadvertent behaviors—and offer strategies for shielding them from such hazards. Relying on a career’s worth of anecdotes from the security industry, Eastman shows how the reptilian brain, which governs basic instincts, can be used to help a person make the right decisions not just in dangerous encounters, but in business and romantic situations as well. Part memoir, part self-help guide, Eastman proposes a lifestyle in which readers can become better in tune with the world around them in ways that enhance the experience of living while decreasing unnecessary risks of exploitation. Everything about the book is slightly over the top, from the back cover art (which features four photographs of Eastman), to the chapter titles (“Play Dates With Predators”), to the narrative tone, which is reminiscent of a self-defense instructor. Even so, there is an earnestness that filters through Eastman’s bravado. He seems to legitimately care about people’s safety, and his frustration with the ways in which individuals ignore their physical environments while simultaneously making themselves vulnerable in their digital environments is both understandable and illuminating. Everyone could use a little more awareness, and Eastman’s common-sense advice may help the reader acquire some.
A useful, if somewhat eccentric, guide to making oneself less vulnerable.