Regular price: $29.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From terror attacks to the War on Terror, bursting real-estate bubbles to crystal meth epidemics, sexual predators to poisonous toys from China, our list of fears seems to be exploding. And yet, we are the safest and healthiest humans in history. Irrational fear is running amok, and often with tragic results. In the months after 9/11, when people decided to drive instead of fly - believing they were avoiding risk - road deaths rose by 1,595. Those lives were lost to fear.

The Science of Fear is a disarmingly cheerful roundtrip shuttle to the new brain science, dissecting the fears that misguide and manipulate us every day. As award-winning journalist Daniel Gardner demonstrates, irrational fear springs from how humans miscalculate risks. Our hunter-gatherer brains evolved during the old Stone Age and struggle to make sense of a world utterly unlike the one that made them. Numbers, for instance, confuse us. Our "gut" tells us that even if there aren't "50,000 predators...on the Internet prowling for children," as a recent U.S. Attorney General claimed, then there must be an awful lot. And even if our "head" discovers that the number is baseless and no one actually knows the truth - there could be 100,000 or 500,000 - we are still more fearful simply because we heard the big number. And it is not only politicians and the media that traffic in fearmongering. Corporations fatten their bottom lines with fear. Interest groups expand their influence with fear. Officials boost their budgets with fear. With more information, warnings and scary stories coming at us every day from every direction, we are more prone than ever to needlessly worry.

©2008 Daniel Gardner (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"Excellent.... analyses everything from the media's predilection for irrational scare stories to the cynical use of fear by politicians pushing a particular agenda....What could easily have been a catalogue of misgovernance and stupidity instead becomes a cheery corrective to modern paranoia." ( The Economist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    380
  • 4 Stars
    294
  • 3 Stars
    158
  • 2 Stars
    39
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    228
  • 4 Stars
    202
  • 3 Stars
    108
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    251
  • 4 Stars
    190
  • 3 Stars
    93
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    9
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Be Afraid

Be afraid Daniel Gardner writes another book. Very little useful information. He should re-publish the book under the title "Why I Hate George Bush".

1 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • LEAWOOD, KS, United States
  • 01-18-11

Narrator Issue

The narrator is horribly annoying, so no matter how good this book might be, I can't tolerate the narrator long enough to listen to it. Highly disappointing and unnecessary.

0 of 5 people found this review helpful