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Panic Nation Paperback – 1 Jul 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Blake Publishing (1 July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844541223
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844541225
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 628,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Professor Stanley Feldman is a Professor of Anaesthetics at London University and appointed to the Imperial College School of Medicine. He has lectured all over the world on anaesthetics and other related subjects. He has written and edited several books on the subject of clinical anaesthetics and published over eighty papers in medical journals. In addition he has published Poison Arrows, his first popular science book. He enjoys boating and travel.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Frederick II of Germany wrote in the thirteenth century: 'One ought not to believe anything, save that which can be proven by nature and the force of reason.' Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By on 25 Aug. 2005
Format: Paperback
Public health scares probably cause more anxiety than terrorism. From GMOs to MMR, from BSE to RSI, we are now all conversant in a language of three letter acronyms, each spelling another reason not to eat or do anything, lest it kill or contaminate us.
Sitting above all this is a big, bloated meta-anxiety; the latent belief that we can no longer trust those charged with keeping us safe from poison food, hazardous medicine, toxic air and harmful work practices. The authorities either lack the wherewithal to get to the facts, or the will to confront the big businesses responsible for our plight. We are adrift in a sea of accusation and counter-accusation, with nobody to steer us safely to the hard shores.
Enter Stanley Feldman and Vincent Marks, two noted medical experts whose book Panic Nation aims to set the record straight and confront the dodgy science behind recent high profile scares. Between them and their contributors they take on many of the old chestnuts we all fret about - obesity, pesticides, food labelling, pollution, GMOs, stress, mad cows, the MMR vaccine, passive smoking and many more.
There is much here that is very good. The opening section of the book deals brutally with the shortcomings of epidemiology and the abuse of statistics by pressure groups. The process of Chinese whispers, by which sober scientific research study becomes lurid red top splash is dealt with unsparingly. It makes me realise that, far from my conceit as an informed member of the public, I am in fact receiving my truth fourth hand at best, once it's been sifted through any number of agenda.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
At last, a counter-blast to the appalling "bad science" peddled by the media and the campaign groups, putting into perspective the food (and other health) scares that readers of the Daily Mail et al. treat as real and present dangers.
This book is a readable exposition of the REAL science behind the headlines (junk food, obesity, MMR, Genetically Modified Crops, cholesterol etc)and an expose of the tricks used by the media and campaigners to manipulate statistics and unscientifically sourced data to sell whatever they are selling - be it newspapers or a point of view.
Of course this book has its own point to make, and inevitably contains some hyperbole in over-enthuiastic support of its position (such as the assertion that telephone studies are subject to bias "as the respondent INVARIABLY tries to give the questionnaire the answer that they thing he or she wants to hear" [emphasis added] - "often" or "sometimes" would have been just fine to make the same point about unreliability of data collected in that way. But that is no more than a niggle.
The format is a collection of short essays by eminent experts, in the true sense of that word. These are not the kind of trumped up experts sometimes paraded on day-time television, but real leaders in their field, who present the scientific evidence and contrast that with the popular myths. The opening chapters are introductory essays explaining how "bad science" arises, and are an excellent primer for those (like me) with no experience of research methods and statistics. The later chapters individually debunk popular misconceptions (organic food is better than non-organic; alcohol is bad for you; sugar causes heart disease, diabetes, hypertension etc; additives are bad for you; MMR causes autism in children and so on).
All in all, a ripping read. And quite quick!
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By Susan Omar on 11 May 2012
Format: Paperback
If you want to be surprised, annoyed, or both, read "Panic Nation" and you won't be disappointed! The subjects covered are so compelling that my teenagers seized a copy and, astonished at what they read, began quoting from it:

In a style both gripping and startling, the editors Feldman and Marks promise to "unpick the myths we're told about food and health". They feel that modern medicine and the scientific approach are being rejected in favour of the fashion for a nature-knows-best approach, with people forgetting that in the days before modern medicine life was "nasty, brutish and short". With distinguished contributors examining topics of concern to all, Panic Nation has fourteen chapters looking at health risks including MMR, Complementary Medicine ("Integrated Waffle") and Sun and Skin ("a Violation of Truth"), and twelve chapters looking at the food we eat. Aimed at anyone with an interest in health risks (which must be everyone), each chapter is easy to understand and free of technical jargon, making it interesting and pleasing to read.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By L O'connor on 17 July 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This entertaining and informative book consists of a collection of essays on the various health scares with which we have been bombarded in recent years, each essay written by an expert on the subject in question.
You will be relieved but possibly surprised to learn that, for instance, 'passive smoking' can do you no harm at all. The food you eat does not affect the amount of cholestorel in your blood, and the cholestorel level in your blood does not affect your health in any case. Organic food is no better for you than the regular kind. Salt does not raise your blood pressure. There is no such thing as junk food, if it's food then it's not junk, and if it's junk then it's not food, it's as simple as that. A BigMac is just as nourishing as a pre-packed salad, and contains no more fat. Sunbathing is not dangerous, in fact it can be beneficial, you need the vitamin D in sunshine.
It goes on and on, a bookful of reassuring but infuriating facts, reassuring to find that so many 'dangerous' things are in fact not dangerous at all, but infuriating to think that we are being scared for nothing. The most distressing passage in the book is where it is pointed out that, due to the banning of DDT on very flimsy health grounds, the incidence of Malaria in Africa now causes millions of deaths, whereas before DDT was banned it had almost been eliminated. This fills me with fury whenever I think of it.
Everyone should read this book, and learn the truth about the lies we are told about our health and what's good for us and what's bad for us. Everything you think you know is probably wrong.
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