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Makridakis, Hogarth and Gaba-business professors and risk management experts-explore the powerful role of luck in our lives. For example, it's commonly accepted that to live a long, healthy life, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol should be controlled and smoking is verboten. However, the authors cite an analysis of mortality rates that suggests that these factors have only a minimal effect on longevity-and in the case of body weight, our common knowledge might be entirely wrong. Early sections reconsider medical and investment advice in the light of the unacknowledged and unstudied role of pure chance, and the authors make surprising recommendations: avoid doctors, seek boring investments and ignore almost everything in business books. The second-and weaker-section of the book offers abstract strategies for living with greater uncertainty. Although lacking in specific practical advice, the book is worthwhile for its provocative thesis and its invitation to readers to relinquish the "illusion of control." (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.