Risk: Why We Fear The Things We Shouldn't - And Put Ourselves In Greater Danger

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Risk: Why We Fear The Things We Shouldn't - And Put Ourselves In Greater Danger

by Dan Gardner

McClelland & Stewart | January 27, 2009 | Trade Paperback

4 out of 5 rating. 3 Reviews
In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Gardner explores a new way of thinking about the decisions we make.

We are the safest and healthiest human beings who ever lived, and yet irrational fear is growing, with deadly consequences - such as the 1,595 Americans killed when they made the mistake of switching from planes to cars after September 11. In part, this irrationality is caused by those - politicians, activists, and the media - who promote fear for their own gain. Culture also matters. But a more fundamental cause is human psychology.

Working with risk science pioneer Paul Slovic, author Dan Gardner sets out to explain in a compulsively readable fashion just what that statement above means as to how we make decisions and run our lives. We learn that the brain has not one but two systems to analyze risk. One is primitive, unconscious, and intuitive. The other is conscious and rational. The two systems often agree, but occasionally they come to very different conclusions. When that happens, we can find ourselves worrying about what the statistics tell us is a trivial threat - terrorism, child abduction, cancer caused by chemical pollution - or shrugging off serious risks like obesity and smoking.

Gladwell told us about "the black box" of our brains; Gardner takes us inside, helping us to understand how to deconstruct the information we're bombarded with and respond more logically and adaptively to our world. Risk is cutting-edge reading.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: January 27, 2009

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771032595

ISBN - 13: 9780771032592

Found in: Current Events

save
28%

In Stock

$15.19

Online Price

$19.99 List Price

or, Used from $5.04

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Risk: Why We Fear The Things We Shouldn't - And Put Ourselves In Greater Danger

Risk: Why We Fear The Things We Shouldn't - And Put Ourselves In Greater Danger

by Dan Gardner

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 Pages, 5.91 × 8.66 × 0.79 in

Published: January 27, 2009

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0771032595

ISBN - 13: 9780771032592

Read from the Book

Risk and fear are hot topics among sociologists, who have come to a broad consensus that those of us living in modern countries worry more than previous generations. Some say we live in a culture of fear. Terrorists, Internet stalkers, crystal meth, avian flu, genetically modified organisms, contaminated food: New threats seem to sprout like poisonous mushrooms. Climate change, carcinogens, leaky breast implants, the “obesity epidemic,” pesticides, West Nile virus, sars, avian flu, and flesh-eating disease. The list goes on and on. Open the newspaper, watch the evening news. On any given day, there’s a good chance someone – a journalist, activist, consultant, corporate executive, or politician – is warning about an “epidemic” of something or other that threatens you and those you hold dear. Occasionally, these fears burst into full-bore panics. The pedophile lurking in parks and Internet chat rooms is the latest. In the early 1990s, it was road rage. A decade earlier, it was herpes. Satanic cults, mad cow disease, school shootings, crack cocaine – all these have raced to the top of the public’s list of concerns, only to drop as rapidly as they went up. Some surge back to prominence now and then. Others slip into the category of minor nuisances and are never heard from again. Farewell, herpes. This is just the stuff of daily news. Authors, activists, consultants, and futurologists are constantly warning us about threats so
read more read less

From the Publisher

In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Gardner explores a new way of thinking about the decisions we make.

We are the safest and healthiest human beings who ever lived, and yet irrational fear is growing, with deadly consequences - such as the 1,595 Americans killed when they made the mistake of switching from planes to cars after September 11. In part, this irrationality is caused by those - politicians, activists, and the media - who promote fear for their own gain. Culture also matters. But a more fundamental cause is human psychology.

Working with risk science pioneer Paul Slovic, author Dan Gardner sets out to explain in a compulsively readable fashion just what that statement above means as to how we make decisions and run our lives. We learn that the brain has not one but two systems to analyze risk. One is primitive, unconscious, and intuitive. The other is conscious and rational. The two systems often agree, but occasionally they come to very different conclusions. When that happens, we can find ourselves worrying about what the statistics tell us is a trivial threat - terrorism, child abduction, cancer caused by chemical pollution - or shrugging off serious risks like obesity and smoking.

Gladwell told us about "the black box" of our brains; Gardner takes us inside, helping us to understand how to deconstruct the information we're bombarded with and respond more logically and adaptively to our world. Risk is cutting-edge reading.


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Jacket

In the tradition of Malcolm Gladwell, Gardner explores a new way of thinking about the decisions we make.

We are the safest and healthiest human beings who ever lived, and yet irrational fear is growing, with deadly consequences - such as the 1,595 Americans killed when they made the mistake of switching from planes to cars after September 11. In part, this irrationality is caused by those - politicians, activists, and the media - who promote fear for their own gain. Culture also matters. But a more fundamental cause is human psychology.

Working with risk science pioneer Paul Slovic, author Dan Gardner sets out to explain in a compulsively readable fashion just what that statement above means as to how we make decisions and run our lives. We learn that the brain has not one but two systems to analyze risk. One is primitive, unconscious, and intuitive. The other is conscious and rational. The two systems often agree, but occasionally they come to very different conclusions. When that happens, we can find ourselves worrying about what the statistics tell us is a trivial threat - terrorism, child abduction, cancer caused by chemical pollution - or shrugging off serious risks like obesity and smoking.

Gladwell told us about "the black box" of our brains; Gardner takes us inside, helping us to understand how to deconstruct the information we're bombarded with and respond more logically and adaptively to our world. Risk is cutting-edge reading.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Dan Gardner is a columnist and senior writer for the Ottawa Citizen, specializing in criminal justice and other investigative issues. Trained in history and law, Gardner worked as a senior policy adviser to the premier and the minister of education before turning to journalism in 1997. His writing has received numerous awards, including the National Newspaper Award, Amnesty International's Media Award, and others. He lives in Ottawa with his wife and two children.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"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, UK

"A fascinating insight into the peculiar and devastating nature of human fear" - Sunday Telegraph, UK

"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, UK

"Terrific… As a writer, he's exceptionally good." - The Evening Standard, UK


From the Hardcover edition.
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart