The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science

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Abrams, Mar 6, 2014 - Science - 346 pages
“A tour de force . . . [Storr’s] dogged approach to nailing many of the most celebrated skeptics in lies and misrepresentations is welcome.” —Salon

Why, that is, did the obviously intelligent man beside him sincerely believe in Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and a six-thousand-year-old Earth, in spite of the evidence against them? It was the start of a journey that would lead Storr all over the world—from Texas to Warsaw to the Outer Hebrides—meeting an extraordinary cast of modern heretics whom he tries his best to understand. Storr tours Holocaust sites with famed denier David Irving and a band of neo-Nazis, experiences his own murder during “past life regression” hypnosis, discusses the looming One World Government with an iconic climate skeptic, and investigates the tragic life and death of a woman who believed her parents were high priests in a baby-eating cult.

Using a unique mix of highly personal memoir, investigative journalism, and the latest research from neuroscience and experimental psychology, Storr reveals how the stories we tell ourselves about the world invisibly shape our beliefs, and how the neurological “hero maker” inside us all can so easily lead to self-deception, toxic partisanship and science denial.

“The subtle brilliance of The Unpersuadables is Mr. Storr’s style of letting his subjects hang themselves with their own words.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Throws new and salutary light on all our conceits and beliefs. Very valuable, and a great read to boot, this is investigative journalism of the highest order.” —The Independent, Book of the Week
 

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Contents

Its like treason
I dont know whats going on with these people
The secret of the long life of the tortoise
Two John Lennons
Solidified intensified gross sensations
The invisible actor at the centre of the world
Quack
Some type of tiny wasps
I came of exceptional parents
Backwards and forwards in the slime
That one you just go Eeerrrr
A suitable place
The HeroMaker
Acknowledgements
A note on my method
Notes and references

Top Dog wants his name in
Theyre frightening people
There was nothing there but I knew it was a cockerel

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About the author (2014)

Will Storr is an award-winning journalist and novelist whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Sunday Times, The New Yorker, and the New York Times. His books include Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed and The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science (Overlook/Abrams Press). His writing courses are among the most in-demand offerings of the Guardian Masterclasses and the Faber Academy. He lives in Kent, England.

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