Risk : The Science and Politics of Fear, Paperback Book

Risk : The Science and Politics of Fear Paperback

4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


We are the safest humans who ever lived - the statistics prove it. And yet the media tells a different story with its warnings and scare stories.

How is it possible that anxiety has become the stuff of daily life?In this ground-breaking, compulsively readable book, Dan Gardner shows how our flawed strategies for perceiving risk influence our lives, often with unforeseen and sometimes-tragic consequences.

He throws light on our paranoia about everything from paedophiles to terrorism and reveals how the most significant threats are actually the mundane risks to which we pay little attention. Speaking to psychologists and scientists, as well as looking at the influence of the media and politicians, Gardner uncovers one of the central puzzles of our time: why are the safest people in history living in a culture of fear?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages, none
  • Publisher: Ebury Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Social research & statistics
  • ISBN: 9780753515532

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Two themes run through this excellent book: the tendency of 'Gut' to influence decisions we think we take with our 'Head', and how vested interests use fear for commercial and political ends. Gardner combines narrative with in-depth research to firmly put the worries of C21st living in context, and shows how the world presented to us (what the FT's Gillian Tett calls "the cognitive map") is a topsy-turvy version of reality. A first class read, and highly recommended.

Review by

Kahneman Lite! Talks of Gut and Head, instead of System 1 & 2 so immediately more graphic, more journalistic and less methodical/scientific. Good wide-ranging account of how we are bamboozled by the info revolution and how many people (politicians, media, advertisers, sellers of alarm systems, weaponry & snake-oil) have a stake in our remaining ignorant and especially, fearful. On the other hand, he also shows how good life is for most people today, a truth which is pretty well concealed by our inadequately informed, irrational minds. The reader emerges both cheered and depressed.

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