"An overdue rational antidote to those of us who fear becoming a victim of the next terrorist attack, a fiery plane crash or some exotic killer disease." — The Ottawa Citizen
"Entertaining....A breath of fresh air and common sense." — Publishers Weekly"
Compelling ... an invaluable resource for anyone who aspires to think clearly"
— The Guardian
A fascinating insight into the peculiar and devastating nature of human fear" — Sunday Telegraph,
“An excellent work… his take on terrorism in the book’s penultimate chapter is refreshing ... a cheery corrective to modern paranoia.” — The Economist
“A beautifully observed study.” — The Observer
“Terrific… As a writer, he’s exceptionally good.” — The Evening Standard
, UKFrom the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
Every day, we suffer a barrage of warnings about the threat of terrorism, war and apocalypse. The news is a parade of horrors. Anxiety is the stuff of daily life. And yet the statistics say we are the safest and healthiest humans who ever lived. How is this possible?
In this ground-breaking new book, Dan Gardner explains how we perceive risk, and examines the psychology that drives our fears. Analysing our risk perception as the combination of the brain's two simultaneous responses -- the intuitive feeling and the rational, considered response -- he throws light on our paranoia about paedophiles, chemical contamination, and suicide bombs, and explains why the significant threats to our lives are actually the mundane risks we pay little attention to.
Speaking to psychologists, economists, and scientists, Gardner reveals not only how we make judgments but how those judgments are influenced by corporations, politicians, activists and the media -- all of which have an interest in promoting irrational fear. In doing so, he explains one of the central puzzles of our time: Why are the safest and healthiest people in history living in a culture of fear?
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