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Cairns' droll, entertaining book examines how we've become a world of people afraid of the world: "survey after survey shows that most people, nowadays, believe the world to be a far more dangerous place now than it was in the past." Not only do we worry too much, we worry about the wrong things. With a witty, occasionally whiny British inflection, Cairns catalogs the innocuous things that grab our attention (airplane crashes), the real dangers we rarely consider (hundreds of thousands home gardening accidents), and the real victims: the children. Along with many funny, outrageous anecdotes illustrating a society whose members are no longer willing to take responsibility for their own safety or well being, Cairns makes many salient points about litigation, obese children and the pacifying effects of the safety state (ironically, the safest course of action may be the one that seems the most dangerous, since we become more cautious when we perceive danger). Cairn's lighthearted approach is informative and easy to read, in spite of occasionally obscure British references, and should briefly alleviate anxiety, if only because it's hard to worry and smile simultaneously.
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A brilliant and wickedly funny book. (Peter Schweizer, New York Times bestselling author of Do as I Say (Not as I Do))
Droll, entertaining [and] witty…. Cairn's lighthearted approach is informative and easy to read… and should briefly alleviate anxiety, if only because it's hard to worry and smile simultaneously. (Publishers Weekly)