How to Live Dangerously: The Hazards of Helmets, the Benefits of Bacteria, and the Risks of Living Too Safe

Warwick Cairns, Author St. Martin's Griffin $12.95 (167p) ISBN 978-0-312-53389-2
Cairns' droll, entertaining book examines how we've become a world of people afraid of the world: ""survey after survey shows that most people, nowadays, believe the world to be a far more dangerous place now than it was in the past."" Not only do we worry too much, we worry about the wrong things. With a witty, occasionally whiny British inflection, Cairns catalogs the innocuous things that grab our attention (airplane crashes), the real dangers we rarely consider (hundreds of thousands home gardening accidents), and the real victims: the children. Along with many funny, outrageous anecdotes illustrating a society whose members are no longer willing to take responsibility for their own safety or well being, Cairns makes many salient points about litigation, obese children and the pacifying effects of the safety state (ironically, the safest course of action may be the one that seems the most dangerous, since we become more cautious when we perceive danger). Cairn's lighthearted approach is informative and easy to read, in spite of occasionally obscure British references, and should briefly alleviate anxiety, if only because it's hard to worry and smile simultaneously.
Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 05/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-4299-8763-9
Paperback - 197 pages - 978-0-230-71221-8
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-0-230-73875-1
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