"Seth Stein's book is fun to read and has a compelling story to tell. There is no book quite like it out there." -- Stephen Marshak, University of Illinois
"A must-read for all involved in such issues." -- Orrin Pilkey, Duke University, author of Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can't Predict the Future"A masterpiece of how to present often complicated and complex scientiﬁc ﬁndings to the general public in a way easy to understand."Pure and Applied Geophysics
"The book is, I think, rather accessible to readers who have a minimum of knowledge of geology. There's very little math (and it's well explained), and I think anyone with the slightest of interests in the area should pick this book up. Parts of it are actually funny." - Terry Pinder, Daily Kos, Dec 16, 2011
"This fascinating book is straightforward yet exciting: a high-school freshman can read it but a scientist of any discipline will be roused by it. The book is part story, part science, and part how scientists think. I recommend this book to anyone interested in science."
- Engineering & Science
'Sacred cows make the best hamburger,' as the saying goes. In Disaster Deferred, Seth Stein takes on one of the sacred cows of geology-the story of the Midwest's New Madrid fault-and argues that estimates of earthquake risk along the fault have been greatly exaggerated. Along the way, Stein gives readers a taste of what it is like to do science. He tells his tale with care, passion, and the kind of humor that seems just right for a geologistcrusty and bluff.
(Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time
Seth Stein's book is fun to read and has a compelling story to tell. There is no book quite like it out there.
(Stephen Marshak, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Seth Stein thoughtfully recognizes the painful decisions that various politicians and emergency managers must make, and he provides realistic descriptions of various types of bureaucracies and scientific specialties, without rancor. A must-read for all involved in such issues.
(Orrin Pilkey, Duke University, author of Useless Arithmetic: Why Environmental Scientists Can't Predict the Future
A great book about real science and policy issues that is a lot of fun to read. Seth Stein has done a great job of telling the story of the New Madrid Seismic Zone and its near-mythic status within the science community, without rancor and without being overly critical of the parties to this fascinating story. Well done all around.
(Timothy H. Dixon, University of Miami)
Stein has done a masterful job of explaining the historical events of New Madrid in 1811 and 1812 and the science behind the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) as it is analyzed today. He effectively challenges the claims and mystique about the NMSZ. This is a much needed, honest, and frank book about earthquakes and seismic policy. It tells the inside story about science, the people in this science, the history of seismology, science in government, and public policy and does so with humor, personal anecdotes, and good examples. An excellent reference book and very readable. As a geologist from a state that borders the NMSZ, I would recommend this book to anyone in government or public policy who deals with these issues.
(James C. Cobb, director and state geologist, Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky)
A lot of books are written about disasters and potential disasters. Seth Stein's new book Disaster Deferred, is a different kind of book, which uses new scientific results to demonstrate that the dangers of a large earthquake in the Midwest are greatly overestimated. Seth writes in a highly entertaining style, and I frequently found myself laughing out loud. However, the facts are deadly serious and based on the latest results in earthquake science. I strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in earthquakes and their potential impact on society in North America.
(Douglas Wiens Washington University in St. Louis
Engaging, feisty in places, humorous and philosophical, highly educational, and loaded with common sense -- an exceptional read.... An essential book for policy makers, economists, and notably educators.