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False Alarm: The Truth about the Epidemic of Fear Paperback – September 1, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Marc Siegel tries to reduce the hysteria quotient with a straightforward recitation of facts and statistics. Recalling the famous Orson Welles broadcast of "The War of the Worlds," Siegel tries all too sensibly (and one suspects futilely) to assess risk accurately and respond only to "plausible" threats such as the vulnerability of our container ships or "loose nukes" in former Soviet republics." (Benamin Barber, "Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)
Top Customer Reviews
For example, author Marc Siegel discusses the media and popular panic over the outbreak of SARS - one would think that this is the next worldwide pandemic just waiting to break, and public and governmental pressure was brought to bear to deal with this. In reality, few people died from SARS, it turned out that SARS was not that infectious, and in fact more people die of the regular flu virus annually than did of SARS. This is but one example of how we as a culture tend to get distracted by a high-profile issue.
The fear of people in the West about terrorism is a similar false alarm, in Siegel's estimation. It is still true that one is far more likely to get killed or injured in traffic accidents or workplace accidents than by any terrorism related; to devote one's resources (physical and psychological) toward an event unlikely to happen to the exclusion of dealing with the likely events is a problem our society increasingly faces.Read more ›
Two primary negative results flow from the false alarm syndrome. First, we place all our national energy, money, and resources into emotionally hyped issues that provide little bang for the buck. Second, the chicken little, the sky is falling phenomenon causes us to become cynical about real warnings. The tragedy of ten of thousands refusing to evacuate the gulf coast during Katrina is proof positive of this negative result.
Reading this book should alert all of us to our need to stay alert. We must think for ourselves, and not let politicians and the self-serving media drive us into overdrive. We need to bring rationality to our emotionality. "False Alarm" offers the intellectual medicine and emotional prescription necessary to return us to national mental health.
Reviewer: Dr. Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Soul Physicians," "Spiritual Friends," and the forthcoming, "Beyond the Suffering."
Is it worth the time it would take to read it? Well, it is an adequate primer. However, I would, by far, recommend Dan Gardner's 'The Science of Fear' and 'Future Babble'. Also, one should read Matt Ridley's 'The Rational Optimist', Steven Pinker's 'The Better Angels of Our Nature'...as well as the works of Ray Kurtzweil.. Each of these works are far more comprehensive and compelling.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read and learn. Living in constant fear robs people of a joyful life. Fear leads to hate people fear what they don't
This man claimed that the people who have been following this and other flus were fear mongers. This week while his child was at a camp that cost 10,000 dollars a child there was a... Read morePublished on July 25, 2009 by Debra Penny
the first chapter that explains the amygdala over riding the frontal lobes is priceless , but the rest of the book is pablum!Published on September 15, 2008 by z9z9
A book that explores true risk to a variety of potential public hazards, from terrorist attacks to pandemic influenze.
Why only three stars? Dr. Read more
This book is political punditry done poorly. The doctor should stick to medicine, and try to do a better job there. Read morePublished on March 19, 2007 by Nottingham
The nation's media sells fear in almost every aspect of our lives from the next thunderstorm to the war on terror. Dr. Read morePublished on September 8, 2006 by Stephen A. Conn
There is a modest amount of good information here, detailing how people tend to be poor analyzers of risks to themselves. Read morePublished on August 14, 2006 by Jack
I am a physician -board certified in Preventive Medicine- and I teach the subject of Risk Perception at the University level. Read morePublished on March 31, 2006 by Richard A. Lippin MD
I suggest after reading this book - or even better, before you spend your money on this book - you spend a few hours investigating for yourself the past pandemics of 1918, 1957 &... Read morePublished on March 28, 2006 by Concerned Citizen