Top critical review
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Where is this book going ?
on August 30, 2010
I actually read this book contrary to both the 5 stars and the 1 star previous comments.
First don't be fooled by the two names written on the book, this book is actually a collaborative effort by more than 20 peoples...and that's one of the 2 main problems I have with this book.
Each writer wrote one chapter on the book, and even though there was an obvious planning of all this, it doesn't avoid some duplication of information or a difference in quality between chapters.
I often thought that some studies/conclusions weren't detailled enough while others seemed to repeat previous chapters.
Finally, some of the authors also seem too proud of themselves, always saying "I did this","We did that","I published", etc... which is a very bad way to write, and quite annoying to read.
The second problem I have with this book is that after reading it, I have absolutely no idea what was the main point of it. If I had to explain the organisation I would say they are 3 parts in it :
- The first part is actually the best. It explains some findings in the fields of economics and neurology, trying to find (and sometimes explain) how people react when faced with choices to make. There are some interestings findings, but again the many authors and the organisation of the book makes this a bit too vague and confusing. I would have prefered if one or two authors explained theses studies in details, to get a better organized and richer book
- The second part is a political one, talking exclusively about terrorism (9/11), global warming, or the economic crisis of 2008.
It uses none of the conclusions of part one (which were often very specific/narrow in scope) and only speak about ways to manage theses crisis differently. Moreover, all theses chapters were US-centric exclusively and of little interest to non US people.
The worst example of this part is probably the chapter "are you a republican ?" where the author argues that environnemental issues used to be a non-partisan issue because Roosevelt and Nixon supported them. 100% US-centric, almost no relation to the irrationality of people when making decisions.
- Finally the third part is about scientists and how they could influence politics. This part is very vague, and seems like another way for the authors to speak about themselves which they seem to enjoy a lot.
All in all that's 3 independant parts, with only one midly interesting. This book was really disapointing specially when you see that what i called "the part one" could have been a great book by itself if the authors had worked a bit more on it and dumped "part two" and "part three".