"Marc Siegel tries to reduce the hysteria quotient with a straightforward recitation of facts and statistics. Recalling the famous Orson Welles broadcast of "The War of the Worlds," Siegel tries all too sensibly (and one suspects futilely) to assess risk accurately and respond only to "plausible" threats such as the vulnerability of our container ships or "loose nukes" in former Soviet republics." (Benamin Barber, Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)
False Alarm: The Truth about the Epidemic of Fearby Marc Siegel
Life today for citizens of the developed world is far safer, easier, and healthier than for any other people in history. Modern medicine has all but wiped out many diseases that once were common killers. Science and technology have given us countless devices that protect our bodies from injury, secure our property, and warn us of impending disaster. And modern… See more details below
Life today for citizens of the developed world is far safer, easier, and healthier than for any other people in history. Modern medicine has all but wiped out many diseases that once were common killers. Science and technology have given us countless devices that protect our bodies from injury, secure our property, and warn us of impending disaster. And modern intelligence gathering can pinpoint threats to our domestic security as they arise. So why is an epidemic of fear sweeping America?
The answer, according to nationally renowned health commentator Dr. Marc Siegel, is that we live in an artificially created culture of fear. From the anthrax panic to the SARS "epidemic," from "official" rumors of bioterror to Orange alerts to West Nile virusthe media continually bombard us with breaking news of yet another super-bug, terrorist plot, or natural disaster that's about to wreak havoc. Most of the time the disasters never materialize. But even if they did, the odds that any of us would suffer harm from them is infinitesimally smallespecially when compared to the much greater risks of dying in a car accident or from coronary heart disease.
In False Alarm, Siegel identifies three major catalysts of the culture of feargovernment, the media, and big pharma. And, with the help of fascinating, blow-by-blow analyses of some of the most sensational false alarms of the past few years, he shows how those big three fearmongers manipulate our most primitive instinctsoften without our even realizing itto promote their political agendas, boost their ratings, and sell their products.
In his role as a dedicated healer, Siegel offers his prescription for inoculating ourselves against fear tactics. He shows us how to look behind the hype and hysteria and helps us to develop the emotional and intellectual skills needed to take back our lives from fearmongers.
The New Yorker
- Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
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- 9.21(w) x 6.14(h) x 0.63(d)
What People are saying about this
"In this masterful and provocative work, Dr. Marc Siegel, an accomplished physician and author, skillfully dissects our present-day culture of fearmongering. An engaging and readable blend of science, politics, and social criticism, False Alarm--fully supported by extensive research--is an eloquently written and unflinching exploration of fear (real and imagined) in the modern world. Most importantly, Siegel exposes how government officials, the media, and the pharmaceutical industry exploit--and spread--fear for profit and power. They all should be scared of this powerful book." -- David Corn, Washington editor of The Nation
"False Alarm asks an important question about threats from bioterrorism and emerging diseases: when should we be afraid? Siegel cuts through the hype about the "deadly" this and the "lethal" that, and applies reason in seeking the answers. Those who think for themselves will find useful guidance here."--John M. Barry, author of The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History
"Relax and put away your duct tape. In exposing the phony politics of fear, Dr. Marc Siegel proves that things aren’t as bleak as they seem. The only thing to fear is fear itself."--Bill Press, Former Host, CNN’s "Crossfire"
"A passionate aria that puts Marc Siegel stage center in the Anti-Hysteria chorus. As both an empathetic doctor and a shrewd observer of popular culture, Siegel updates that 1950s truism: Watching TV can be injurious to health...especially if you believe the hype about imminent terrorist threats and fearsome potential epidemics. False Alarm is a color-coded burst of sanity amid the fear and frenzy of 21st Century America."-- Walter Shapiro, author of One-Car Caravan
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