Living Dangerously: Navigating the Risks of Everyday Life

Overview

From cholesterol to cancer, asteroids to AIDS, we face more risks than our grandparents ever dreamed of. But most of us are 200 years behind the curve when it comes to making intelligent risk-based decisions: We refuse to fly, but don’t wear seat belts in our far more dangerous cars. We panic about toxic waste dumps, but collectively smoke a billion cigarettes a year. In this entertaining and enlightening look at risk in the modern age, John Ross argues that the burgeoning science of risk assessment has given us ...

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Overview

From cholesterol to cancer, asteroids to AIDS, we face more risks than our grandparents ever dreamed of. But most of us are 200 years behind the curve when it comes to making intelligent risk-based decisions: We refuse to fly, but don’t wear seat belts in our far more dangerous cars. We panic about toxic waste dumps, but collectively smoke a billion cigarettes a year. In this entertaining and enlightening look at risk in the modern age, John Ross argues that the burgeoning science of risk assessment has given us powerful new tools to cope in a complex world, if we could only learn how to speak the language. Ross examines the building blocks of this new language, and helps us identify and relinquish long-held, often pre-set, biological and psychological responses to risk. Through vivid stories and compelling science, Ross empowers us to take control of our lives and to exercise our most basic democratic freedom—the power to make our own decisions—both as individuals and as a society.

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Editorial Reviews

New Scientist
How to find your way in the flood of information that makes up our modern world How well do you know the risks in your life? Probably not as well as you think-and that can make for dangerous living. In this provocative book, John F. Ross reveals how new types of risk decisions-choices never confronted by our parents or grandparents-have filled our lives with worry and confusion. Through vivid storytelling, intriguing forays into history, and compelling insights about modern science, Ross helps the reader combat fear, manage risk, and become a truly empowered citizen of the twenty-first century.
Wilson Quarterly
Compact, lucid, insightful, scientifically sound but eminently readable.
American Scientist
Conveys a richness of information on environmental and other health hazards...[that is] immediately accessible to the general reader....The most lucid introduction [to] risk analysis that I have ever read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738203218
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 6/22/2000
  • Pages: 208
  • Lexile: 1280L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.27 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

John F. Ross is a senior editor and writer for Smithsonian magazine. He contributes frequently to The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times.

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