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Books, Journals, New Media
November 3, 1999

Environmental CancerEnvironmental Cancer—A Political Disease?

Author Affiliations
 

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media

 

Not Available

 

by S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman, 235 pp, with illus, $35, ISBN 0-300-07306-2, paper, $17, ISBN 0-300-07634-7, New Haven, Conn, Yale University Press, 1999.

JAMA. 1999;282(17):1681-1682. doi:10.1001/jama.282.17.1681

The most succinct description of this book is a thesis supported by survey data. The authors assert that an elite group of environmental activists, media types, and overly sympathetic politicians have exaggerated the risk of environmental agents as causes of cancer. Support for their thesis comes from surveys of cancer scientists and media content.

Do not expect another conspiracy theory. The authors have approached their topic with the precision of scientists, so the organization of the book resembles a high-quality scientific paper. Chapters include a historical review, survey of literature, and description of the literature. References are voluminous. The result is a readable and believable presentation that is challenging to antagonists and painfully sobering to proponents of the thesis. Preconceived notions definitely influence a reader's perspective.

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