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Risk : The Science and Politics of Fear

By (author) Dan Gardner

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We are the safest humans who ever lived - the statistics prove it. And yet the media tells a different story with its warnings and scare stories. How is it possible that anxiety has become the stuff of daily life? In this ground-breaking, compulsively readable book, Dan Gardner shows how our flawed strategies for perceiving risk influence our lives, often with unforeseen and sometimes - tragic consequences. He throws light on our paranoia about everything from pedophiles to terrorism and reveals how the most significant threats are actually the mundane risks to which we pay little attention. Speaking to psychologists and scientists, as well as looking at the influence of the media and politicians, Gardner uncovers one of the central puzzles of our time: why are the safest people in history living in a culture of fear?

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  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 30mm | 280g
  • 01 Jan 2009
  • Ebury Publishing
  • Virgin Books
  • London
  • English
  • 0753515539
  • 9780753515532
  • 33,646

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Author Information

Dan Gardner is a columnist and senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen. Trained in history and law, Gardner worked in politics as a senior policy adviser before turning to journalism. His writing has received numerous awards, including the National Newspaper Award and Amnesty International's Media Award. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two children.

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Review quote

"Excellent ... Gardner analyses everything from the media's predilection for irrational scare stories to the cynical use of fear by politicians pushing a particular agenda ... A cheery corrective to modern paranoia" Economist "Terrific ... exceptionally good - has the clarity of Malcolm Gladwell" Evening Standard "Enlivening ... a fascinating insight into the peculiar and devastating nature of human fear" Sunday Telegraph "Stimulating ... where writers such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Francis Wheen have been content largely to enumerate the errors of less rational men and women, Dan Gardner has collated part of what we need to diagnose the problem" Independent on Sunday "Beautifully observed" Observer

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