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 paedophiles 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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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
Compelling ... Gardner aims to get us thinking more carefully about how we run our lives - and make it harder for politicians, the media and advertisers to lead us astray - New Scientist
A fascinating insight into the peculiar and devastating nature of human fear - Daily Telegraph
An excellent book -
A terrific book, full of wonderful insights, and offering cutting-edge social science in a reader-friendly package. The life you save may be your own! - Cass Sunstein, Director of Harvard University's Program on Risk Regulation, and co-author of the best-selling 'Nudge'
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.