Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares are Costing Us the Earth

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2007 - History - 494 pages
2 Reviews

From salmonella in eggs to BSE, from the Millennium Bug to bird ‘flu, from DDT to passive smoking, from asbestos to global warming, ‘scares' have become one of the most conspicuous and damaging features of our modern world. This book for the first time tells the inside story of each of the major scares of the past two decades, showing how they have followed a remarkably consistent pattern.


It analyses the crucial role played in each case by scientists who have misread or manipulated the evidence; by the media and lobbyists who eagerly promote the scare without regard to the facts; and finally by the politicians and officials who come up with an absurdly disproportionate response, leaving us all to pay a colossal price, which may run into billions or even hundreds of billions of pounds.


The book culminates in a chillingly detailed account of the story behind what it shows has become the greatest scare of them all: the belief that the world faces disaster through man-made global warming. In an epilogue the authors compare our credulity in falling for scares to mass-hysterias of previous ages such as the post-mediaeval ‘witch craze', describing our time as a ‘new age of superstition'.

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Review: Scared to Death: The Anatomy of a Very Dangerous Phenomenon

User Review  - David Cheshire - Goodreads

I bought this hoping to learn more about stuff like the underlying causes of these "scares", how to differentiate between real and spurious ones, and the role of the media (the Daily Mail for example ... Read full review

Review: Scared to Death: The Anatomy of a Very Dangerous Phenomenon

User Review  - William - Goodreads

Best book ever. If you only read one last book in your life..... Read full review

Contents

Countdown to an Explosion How Scares
9
Killer Eggs The Great Salmonella Scare
100
Officials Can Kill Meat Cheese and E colt
138
Copyright

11 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

As a noted commentator on the political, social and psychological history of our time, Christopher Booker has in recent years, through his weekly Sunday Telegraph column, become the most conspicuous 'global warming sceptic' in the British press. He has based his view on exhaustive research into the scientific evidence for and against the theory of 'man-made climate change'.

His professional interest in this issue grew out of research for his previous book Scared To Death, co-written with Dr Richard North, a study of the 'scare phenomenon' which has been such a prominent feature of Western life in recent decades. Booker's other recent books have included The Seven Basic Plots, a best-selling analysis of why we tell stories which has established itself as a standard text (also published by Continuum). He has been an author and journalist for nearly 50 years, and was the founding editor of the satirical magazine Private Eye. Richard North is a political analyst who has been a research director in the European Parliament and was formerly a nationally-known consultant on public health and food safety. He has co-authored several books with Christopher Booker.

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