Tuesday, 30 September 2014

[K252.Ebook] Download PDF Drilling Engineering, by J.J. Azar, G. Robello Samuel

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Drilling Engineering, by J.J. Azar, G. Robello Samuel

Coauthored by a leading drilling engineering professor/researcher and a well-experienced drilling research advisor, Drilling Engineering explains the fundamentals and field practices in drilling operations. This textbook is an excellent resource for drilling engineers, drilling supervisors and managers, and petroleum engineering students.

Topics covered include:
• Drilling rig requirements, selection, and evaluation
• Drilling fluids, including functions, types, selection criteria, evaluation, rheology
• Drilling fluid hydraulics and design requirements
• Drillstring mechanics
• Drill bit mechanics, including types, operational requirements, optimization
• Well control mechanics
• Pore and fracture pressures prediction and application
• Directional, horizontal, and multilateral well drilling
• Cementing and casing design
• Drilling problems and solutions
• Overview of underbalanced, slim hole, and coiled tubing drilling
�Key Features & Benefits for the Reader:
• Full understanding of the rotary drilling process and its engineering design aspects
• Recognizing drilling problems and determining solution options
•�Design, execution and post analysis of all drilling programs

  • Sales Rank: #1161543 in Books
  • Published on: 2007-03-19
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.20" h x 1.30" w x 6.20" l, 2.30 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 491 pages

About the Author
Dr. J. J. Azar is a McMan Chair professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Tulsa. He served as Director of the University's Drilling Research Projects from 1974 to 1996, when he resigned to devote more of his time to teaching. Dr. Azar is a well-known lecturer in drilling engineering and the author and/or coauthor of four textbooks and over 60 refereed publications in technical journals. He is a registered professional practicing engineer and a member of SPE and API. He has served as a member and/or chairman on several SPE committees and as technical reviewer of several engineering journals. He received the 1997 SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty and the 1998 SPE Drilling Engineering Award.�
Dr. G. Robello Samuel received an MS and PhD in Petroleum Engineering from the Tulsa University, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Anna University, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Madurai University. Dr. Samuel has more than 17 years of experience in domestic and international oil/gas drilling and completion operations, management, and consulting. He is currently Senior Technical Advisor (Drilling & Completions) with Halliburton in its Digital and Consulting Solutions division.

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0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Drilling Engineering Knowledge
By Ramon Avila
Loved the book . I'm just a driller but I learn from an engineer's point of view. From planning and solutions encountered during a well being drilled. I recommend this book to any roughneck who wants to learn more about their job and succeed in the oil and gas drilling industry.y

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Good Primer!
By Barron Lataquin
Good book for general knowledge and oilfield familiarization.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
Five Stars
By Yose Martin
Good quality's book

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

[J212.Ebook] Download The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins--Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage

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The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins--Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage

  • Sales Rank: #8886613 in Books
  • Published on: 1600
  • Binding: Paperback

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

[N437.Ebook] Ebook Free Elements of user experience - user-centered product design - the original book version 2, by Jesse James Garrett

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Elements of user experience - user-centered product design - the original book version 2

  • Sales Rank: #9892958 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-01-01
  • Binding: Paperback

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Adolescence by Santrock, John [McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages,2013] (Paperback) 15th edition [Paperback]

  • Sales Rank: #2510461 in Books
  • Binding: Paperback

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Friday, 19 September 2014

[Y957.Ebook] Ebook In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church, by Gina Welch

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In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church, by Gina Welch

An undercover exploration of the world of evangelicals, offering an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the faithful

Ever since evangelical Christians rose to national prominence, mainstream America has tracked their every move with a nervous eye. But in spite of this vigilance, our understanding hasn’t gone beyond the caricatures. Who are evangelicals, really? What are they like in private, and what do they want? Is it possible that beneath the differences in culture and language, church and party, we might share with them some common purpose?

To find out, Gina Welch, a young secular Jew from Berkeley, joined Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church. Over the course of nearly two years, Welch immersed herself in the life and language of the devout: she learned to interpret the world like an evangelical, weathered the death of Falwell, and embarked on a mission trip to Alaska intended to save one hundred souls. Alive to the meaning behind the music and the mind behind the slogans, Welch recognized the allure of evangelicalism, even for the godless, realizing that the congregation met needs and answered questions she didn’t know she had.

What emerges is a riveting account of a skeptic’s transformation from uninformed cynicism to compassionate understanding, and a rare view of how evangelicals see themselves. Revealing their generosity and hopefulness, as well as their prejudice and exceptionalism, In the Land of Believers is a call for comprehending, rather than dismissing, the impassioned believers who have become so central a force in American life.

  • Sales Rank: #1477083 in Books
  • Published on: 2010-03-02
  • Released on: 2010-03-02
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.50" h x 1.13" w x 6.45" l, 1.28 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 336 pages

From Booklist
A secular Jew raised by a single mother in Berkeley, Welch became an outsider in a strange land when in 2002 she moved for graduate school to the heart of the Bible Belt near Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. She saw everything around her ironically, treated the South “as a joke” and her time there “as a kind of elaborate performance art project.” Then something miraculous happened. The jaded Californian began to like Virginia. She’d arrived to a Virginia on the verge of a demographic shift as a new, progressive population burgeoned. But she also grew to like the Old South—its manners, easygoing nature, and friendliness. She got serious, cast aside her cynicism, and sought to know her evangelical neighbors “as people.” Why did they think as they did? Why were they so determined “to convert non-Christian America?” She went “undercover” to attend Falwell’s church. The resultant portrayal of evangelicals as she sees them and of how she transcended the popular media caricatures of them constitute an insightful, frequently funny book. --June Sawyers

Review
“Excellent prose with a laudable purpose: to promote understanding of evangelical Christians... 
An engaging, personal look at one variant of Christian fundamentalism.”
—Library Journal “Memorable... A genuinely inquisitive memoir about the complicated nature of religious belief.”
—Kirkus Reviews “With compassion, wit, and verve, Gina Welch has gone where few secular liberals have dared to go—the late Jerry Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist Church—and emerged with a compelling story that transcends stereotypes and builds common ground. Both sides of the Great American Culture War should read this refreshing call for a cease-fire.”
—Kevin Roose, author of The Unlikely Disciple “Gina Welch’s story of her immersion in Jerry Falwell’s Evangelical church is riveting. Welch is a fair, compassionate, very smart writer—and one of the most arresting narrators I’ve encountered in a half-century of reading.”
—John Casey, author of Spartina

About the Author

Gina Welch, a 2001 graduate of Yale University, teaches English at George Washington University. Her writing has previously appeared in Meridian, Time Out New York, and Playboy. This is her first book.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Excruciating Read
By Brian D. Rudert
Overall I was glad I read the book but it was an excruciating read with the author providing way too much detail about mundane things. And those metaphors!! just wait until you they start getting thrown at you. After reading the book I think I understand the evangelicals better. The people she dealt with in the church were really good and decent people. I grew up in a Disciples of Christ church and the hymns that moved her were the same ones we sang.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
beautiful and eye opening
By MickiRae
As someone who, like Gina, has held a deep skepticism of evangelical Christianity, this book was eye opening. Ultimately, I find myself in the same position as the author - not believing what they do, but more empathetic to their world view.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
An instightful participant-observer account of the religious right
By David Hoffman - Santa Rosa, CA
Insightful, thoughtful and appreciative but intelligently critical account of the sincere Religious Right by a progressive feminist investigative journalist.

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[T606.Ebook] Fee Download Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, by Barry Halliwell, John M. C. Gutteridge

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Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine has become a classic text in the field of free radical and antioxidant research. Now in its fifth edition, the book has been comprehensively rewritten and updated whilst maintaining the clarity of its predecessors. Two new chapters discuss 'in vivo' and 'dietary' antioxidants, the first emphasising the role of peroxiredoxins and integrated defence mechanisms which allow useful roles for ROS, and the second containing new information on the role of fruits, vegetables, and vitamins in health and disease. This new edition also contains expanded coverage of the mechanisms of oxidative damage to lipids, DNA, and proteins (and the repair of such damage), and the roles played by reactive species in signal transduction, cell survival, death, human reproduction, defence mechanisms of animals and plants against pathogens, and other important biological events. The methodologies available to measure reactive species and oxidative damage (and their potential pitfalls) have been fully updated, as have the topics of phagocyte ROS production, NADPH oxidase enzymes, and toxicology. There is a detailed and critical evaluation of the role of free radicals and other reactive species in human diseases, especially cancer, cardiovascular, chronic inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. New aspects of ageing are discussed in the context of the free radical theory of ageing.

This book is recommended as a comprehensive introduction to the field for students, educators, clinicians, and researchers. It will also be an invaluable companion to all those interested in the role of free radicals in the life and biomedical sciences.

  • Sales Rank: #710214 in Books
  • Published on: 2015-10-20
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 7.30" h x 1.80" w x 9.60" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 896 pages

About the Author

Barry Halliwell, Executive Director, Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering, National University of Singapore,John M. C. Gutteridge

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Four Stars
By Amazon Customer
Very efficient, simple purchase, and fast shipping.

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Thursday, 18 September 2014

[V791.Ebook] Fee Download Legal Terminology (3rd Edition), by Gordon W. Brown

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Legal Terminology (3rd Edition), by Gordon W. Brown

Appropriate for undergraduate college level courses in Business, Legal Assisting, Legal Secretarial, Paralegal, Court Reporting and Criminal Justice departments including; business law, legal transcription, law office procedures, introduction to paralegal, legal research, legal writing, legal systems, government and the law, legal environment of business, computers and the law, and legal word-processing.Structured into short, easily digested chapters; clear, concise explanations of the law; and easy-to-understand definitions, this text/workbook presents over 1,375 legal terms and features an abundance of various student exercises.

  • Sales Rank: #3516907 in Books
  • Published on: 1998-01-15
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 11.25" h x 9.25" w x .75" l, 2.04 pounds
  • Binding: Spiral-bound
  • 444 pages

Review
none provided

From the Back Cover
Structured into short, easily digested chapters; clear, concise explanations of the law; and easy-to-understand definitions, this book introduces over 1,375 legal terms. Written in a lively, nonthreatening style, this book emphasizes an understanding of legal terminology through a study of the law by presenting legal terms within the context of laws in which they are used. It provides a number of aids for the reader, such as a Glossary of Latin Terms and Phrases (with pronunciation) inside the front and back covers as well as sample legal forms, legal documents, maps, and cartoons. The third edition of Legal Terminology has been revised to include expanded and improved coverage, adding more than 225 legal terms since the previous edition. A new feature, Constitutionally Wise, highlights commonly used terms relating to the U.S. Constitution. It now also includes a Glossary of Legal Terms. An essential reference book for any reader who needs a greater understanding of current legal terminology and its usage.

About the Author
Director of Personnel, Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities Services; Adjunct Faculty, Pulaski Technical College; B.A. from Rhodes College; Juris Doctor from University of Arkansas

Most helpful customer reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
Strengthen your legal vocabulary in seriousness and fun
By A Customer
This is an excellent resource for law students, paralegals, legal secretaries and law clerks. Each chapter shows the words in use and gives real-world explanations of the terms. At the end of each chapter there are true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and crossword puzzle exercises to test your knowledge. This book covers just about all the major areas of law: criminal, civil, torts, bankruptcy, property, wills/estate... you name it. I swear by this book - it really helped me in pre-law. At many colleges, this book is standard.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
It looks more than it really is
By Juliana Noemi Anich
It could be an excellent resource for law students, paralegals, legal secretaries and law clerks and it is true that each chapter shows the words in use and gives real-world explanations of the terms. But at the end of each chapter there are true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and crossword puzzle exercises to test your knowledge which have not any key. I think it is very expensive in relation to the book offers you.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
Useful for online learning
By A. Giles
This book was my first introduction to law and as a potential court reporter, we don't need to know all the details, just enough to do our job. The book was perfect for that. It gives just the right amount of detail and has numerous types of exercises to reinforce the material. It would have been nice to have the fifth edition of the book as this was the one we were using in class, but I was able to follow along just fine using this book.

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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

[M852.Ebook] Ebook Holt World History, The Human Journey: The Ancient World, by RINEHART AND WINSTON HOLT

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Very good condition, no writing inside packages, names written inside cover.

  • Sales Rank: #1301984 in Books
  • Published on: 2005-01-31
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 11.00" h x 8.50" w x 1.00" l, .0 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 592 pages

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful.
It's a text book
By M. Connor
Yup it's a textbook same one my kid lost so I replaced it. Haven't read it but the pictures are nice.

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Sunday, 14 September 2014

[T748.Ebook] Ebook Native Son CD, by Richard Wright

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Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

  • Sales Rank: #1407386 in Books
  • Published on: 2008-04-29
  • Released on: 2008-04-29
  • Formats: Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 15
  • Dimensions: 5.88" h x 2.19" w x 5.60" l, .91 pounds
  • Running time: 63900 seconds
  • Binding: Audio CD
  • 15 pages
Features
  • Brand new in original shrink wrap.

Amazon.com Review
Bigger Thomas is doomed, trapped in a downward spiral that will lead to arrest, prison, or death, driven by despair, frustration, poverty, and incomprehension. As a young black man in the Chicago of the '30s, he has no way out of the walls of poverty and racism that surround him, and after he murders a young white woman in a moment of panic, these walls begin to close in. There is no help for him--not from his hapless family; not from liberal do-gooders or from his well-meaning yet naive friend Jan; certainly not from the police, prosecutors, or judges. Bigger is debased, aggressive, dangerous, and a violent criminal. As such, he has no claim upon our compassion or sympathy. And yet...

A more compelling story than Native Son has not been written in the 20th century by an American writer. That is not to say that Richard Wright created a novel free of flaws, but that he wrote the first novel that successfully told the most painful and unvarnished truth about American social and class relations. As Irving Howe asserted in 1963, "The day Native Son appeared, American culture was changed forever. It made impossible a repetition of the old lies [and] brought out into the open, as no one ever had before, the hatred, fear and violence that have crippled and may yet destroy our culture."

Other books had focused on the experience of growing up black in America--including Wright's own highly successful Uncle Tom's Children, a collection of five stories that focused on the victimization of blacks who transgressed the code of racial segregation. But they suffered from what he saw as a kind of lyrical idealism, setting up sympathetic black characters in oppressive situations and evoking the reader's pity. In Native Son, Wright was aiming at something more. In Bigger, he created a character so damaged by racism and poverty, with dreams so perverted, and with human sensibilities so eroded, that he has no claim on the reader's compassion: "I didn't want to kill," Bigger shouted. "But what I killed for, I am! It must've been pretty deep in me to make me kill! I must have felt it awful hard to murder.... What I killed for must've been good!" Bigger's voice was full of frenzied anguish. "It must have been good! When a man kills, it's for something... I didn't know I was really alive in this world until I felt things hard enough to kill for 'em. It's the truth..." Wright's genius was that, in preventing us from feeling pity for Bigger, he forced us to confront the hopelessness, misery, and injustice of the society that gave birth to him. --Andrew Himes

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Wright's classic 1940 novel about a young African-American man who murders a white woman in 1930s Chicago is a truly remarkable literary accomplishment. Peter Francis James has never been better, bringing the character of Bigger Thomas to life in a profound and moving performance that is as touching as it is truthful. James's powerful baritone demands to be heard, captivating listeners with Wright's realistic portrayal of life in the inner city, capturing the mood of each and every scene. With moderate yet believable variations in tone and dialect for each of the characters, James ignites the collective imagination of his audience. Wright's novel is real, raw and brutally honest and James's reading follows suit. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal
After 58 years in print, Wright's Native Son has acquired classic status. It has not, however, lost its power to shock or provoke controversy. Bigger Thomas is a young black man in 1940s Chicago who accidentally kills the daughter of his wealthy white employer. He tries to frame the young woman's fianc? for the crime and attempts to extort ransom from the victim's family, but his guilt is discovered, and he is forced into hiding. After a terrifying manhunt, he is arrested and brought to trial. Though his fate is certain, he finds that his crimes have given meaning and energy to his previously aimless life, and he goes to his execution unrepentant. Wright avoids the trap of making his hero a martyr, for Bigger is a vicious and violent bully. But out of this tale the author develops a profoundly disturbing image of racism and its results that puts Bigger's experience in horrifying perspective. The unabridged recording includes material edited out of the original edition (Audio Reviews, LJ 10/15/98), including one major scene and some significant dialog. Peter Francis James's narration is thoughtful and polished but lacks intensity. When the text clearly demands an outburst of emotion, James repeatedly holds back, allowing the book's climaxes to drag by unrecognized. This recording will stand well until a better version appears. Recommended for all public libraries; librarians should be aware of extremely violent language and situations.AJohn Owen, Advanced Micro Devices Lib., Santa Clara, CA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
The best thing one can take away from this story is ...
By John Barber
Richard Wright excellently exposes the stark racial divisions of the 1930s Chicago Black Belt in his period piece Native Son. Following the misfortune of the young protagonist Bigger Thomas, Wright seeks to convey a coming of age initiated by tragic conflict. Not only is the reader enveloped by racial conflict behind the words of Wright, but by general conflict between all men. Through this composition, Wright aims to reveal the darkness often covered up during the period of writing, seen through the eyes of the racially suppressed.

The best thing one can take away from this story is an appreciation for empathy and feelings other than our own. Though it is easy to jump to the conclusion that Bigger is an evil man, if you take the time to think and really read between the lines you actually can actively understand the actions which he takes throughout the story and feel a connection with him until the very end. This gift of empathy is would I would argue is Wright’s most amazing result from this story. All in all there is a lot to be learned from reading Native Son and not only does it teach about a historical period of time, but it wraps the piece of historical fiction nicely into a novel, a medium accessible to a wide variety of audiences.

I highly recommend this thrilling expose.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful.
This book is a great book that shows how hard prejudiced was back in ...
By Tanner Shigeta
This book is a great book that shows how hard prejudiced was back in the day before civil rights. This story has a few eye opening and a bit graphic twists but expresses a great deal of oppression. The story has a great build and has an ending where enlightenment is reached. I think that this book should be read with an open mind and the ability to put yourself in someone else╩╗s shoes to think what they are thinking. also it should be remembered while reading this book that skin color made a great deal in a persons life and if you were not white you were treated differently and sometimes even disrespected.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Classic cautionary tale
By Liane
This classic cautionary tale is a tense, graphic read that gives insights into the race issue in the US in the 1930s and the damage it does to both whites and blacks. It also gives important context to the ongoing race issues in that country: a historically toxic, inequitable, violent and oppressive society produces toxic, paranoid, violent people, whatever the basis for the oppression, be it race, class, ethnicity, religion or anything else.

Quite apart from all the sociological and psychological insights, the novel itself is a gripping ride that just does not let up on the tension until the court scene, the long speeches and the epiphanies of the protagonist near the end that slow things down somewhat.

Overall, a worthy read.

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Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), by Tom Vanderbilt

A New York Times Notable Book

One of the Best Books of the Year
The Washington Post • The Cleveland Plain-Dealer • Rocky Mountain News

In this brilliant, lively, and eye-opening investigation, Tom Vanderbilt examines the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are. He demonstrates why plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents. He uncovers who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. He explains why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots. Traffic is about more than driving: it's about human nature. It will change the way we see ourselves and the world around us, and it may even make us better drivers.

  • Sales Rank: #58184 in Books
  • Brand: Vanderbilt, Tom
  • Published on: 2009-08-11
  • Released on: 2009-08-11
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 8.01" h x .89" w x 5.17" l, .66 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 416 pages

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, July 2008: How could no one have written this book before? These days we spend almost as much time driving as we do eating (in fact, we do a lot of our eating while driving), but I can't remember the last time I saw a book on all the time we spend stuck in our cars. It's a topic of nearly universal interest, though: everybody has a strategy for beating the traffic. Tom Vanderbilt's Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) has plenty of advice for those shortcut schemers (Vanderbilt may well convince you to become, as he has, a dreaded "Late Merger"), but more than that it's the sort of wide-ranging contrarian compendium that makes a familiar subject new. I'm not the first or last to call Traffic the Freakonomics of cars, but it's true that it fits right in with the school of smart and popular recent books by Leavitt, Gladwell, Surowiecki, Ariely, and others that use the latest in economic, sociological, psychological, and in this case civil engineering research to make us rethink a topic we live with every day. Want to know how much city traffic is just people looking for parking? (It's a lot.) Or why street signs don't work (but congestion pricing does), why new cars crash more than old cars, and why Saturdays now have the worst traffic of the week? Read Traffic, or better yet, listen to the audio book on your endless commute. --Tom Nissley

Questions for Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic

Q: Was this book really born on a New Jersey highway?
A: Yes, though it could have been any highway in the world, where countless drivers, driving on a crowded road that is about to lose a lane, have had to make a simple decision: When to merge. For my entire driving life, I had always merged "early," thinking it was the polite and efficient thing to do. I viewed those who kept driving to the merge point, to the front of line, as selfish jerks who were making life miserable for the rest of us. I began to wonder: Were they really making things worse? Was I making things worse? Could merging be made easier? Why were there late mergers and early mergers, and why did people get so worked up about the whole thing? In that everyday moment I seemed to sense a vast, largely under-explored wilderness before me: Traffic.

Q: Is it true that the most common cause of stress on the highway is merging? Why of the myriad things to cause stress on the road is this at the top?
A: Merging is the most stressful single activity we face in everyday driving, according to a survey by the Texas Transportation Institute. People who have done studies at highway construction work zones have also told me of extraordinarily bad behavior, triggered by this simple act of trying to get two lanes of traffic into one. Sometimes, it’s simply the difficult mechanics of driving — trying to enter a stream of traffic flowing at a higher speed than you are, for example. Drivers, to quote a physicist who was actually talking about grains, are objects "who do not easily interact." But I also think there’s something about the forward flow of traffic that makes us register progress only by our own unimpeded movement; as in life, we seem to register losses more powerfully than gains, and registering these losses boosts stress.

Q: You say that, "For most of us who are not brain surgeons, driving is probably the most complex everyday thing we do in our lives." How so?
A: Researchers have estimated there are anywhere from 1500 to 2500 discrete skills and activities we undertake while driving. Even the simplest thing — shifting gears — is a decision-making process consuming what is called "cognitive workload." We’re operating heavy machinery at speeds beyond our long evolutionary history, absorbing (and discarding) huge amounts of information, and having to make snap decisions — often based on limited situational awareness, guesses about what others are going to do, or a hazy knowledge of the actual traffic law. It took years of research, for example, by some of the country’s top robotics researchers, to create expensive, sophisticated self-driving "autonomous vehicles" that are basically mediocre beginning drivers that you’d never want to let loose in everyday traffic. When we forget that driving isn’t necessarily as easy as it seems to be, we get into trouble.

Q: Drivers polled in America say the roads are getting less civil with each passing year. ‘Road Rage’ is an ever more common term. What is to blame? Hummers? Or are we just getting ruder?
A: Every year, more people are driving more miles, so one reason for the sense that the roads are getting less civil is simply that there are many more chances for you to have an encounter with an aggressive or rude driver. It’s tough to put numbers on it, but I happen to feel, like many people, that behavior has gotten qualitatively worse — surveys have suggested, for example, that using the turn signal is an increasingly optional activity. Leaving aside the issue that not signaling is illegal (because, let’s face it, we’re never going to be able ticket everyone who doesn’t do it, nor do we probably want to), it’s one of those small things, requiring little effort from the driver, that makes traffic flow more smoothly — I myself have honked countless times at "idiots" slowing for no apparent reason, only to seem them eventually make a turn. It’s antisocial behavior, the equivalent of having the door held open for you and saying nothing in return. So why don’t people signal? My immediate theory is that they’re using a cell phone and are distracted or physically incapable of signaling. But a deeper reason, I suspect, may be seen in the surveys of psychologists who measure narcissism in American culture. They find, as time goes on, more people are willing to say things like "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place." Traffic is filled with people who think that roads belong only to them — it’s "MySpace" — that being inside the car absolves them from any obligation to anyone else. People are glad to tell you that their child is a middle school honor student — as if anyone cared! — but they deem it less important to tell you what they’re going to do in traffic.

Q: So much of what you uncover about life on the road seems counterintuitive. Like the fact that drivers drive closer to oncoming cars when there is a center line divider then when there is not; that most accidents happen close to home in familiar, not foreign, surroundings; that dangerous roads can be safer; safer cars can be more dangerous; that suburbs are often riskier than the inner city; the roundabout safer than the intersection. When it comes to traffic why are things so different from how we instinctively perceive them?
A: I think part of the reason is it’s easy for us to confuse what feels dangerous or safe in the moment and what might be, in a larger sense, safe or dangerous. We have a windshield’s eye view of driving that sometimes blinds us to larger realities or skews our perception. Roundabouts feel dangerous because of all the work one has to do, like looking for an opening, jockeying for positioning. But it’s precisely because we have to do all that, and because of the way roundabouts are designed, that we have to slow down. By contrast, it feels quite "safe" to sail through a big intersection where the lights are telling you that you have the right to speed through. We can, in essence, put our brain on hold. But those same intersections contain so many more chances for what engineers call "conflict," and at much higher speeds, than roundabouts. So when what seems quite safe suddenly turns quite dangerous — will we be as well prepared? Similarly, we might be reassured that that yellow or white dividing line on a road is telling us where we should be, but how does that knowledge then change our behavior, to the point where may actually be driving closer — and faster — to the stream of oncoming traffic? Accidents are more likely to occur closer to home. Mostly this is because we do most driving closer to home, but studies do show that we pay less attention to signs and signals on local roads, because we "know" them, yet this knowledge actually give us a false sense of security.

Q: What were some of the things that most surprised you in researching this book?
A: Things that surprised me the most were those that challenged my own long-held beliefs as a driver, like that "late mergers" simply must be somehow worse for the traffic flow at work-zones, that roundabouts were dangerous places, that warning signs were there because they must be working, that car drivers were more of a contributing factor in truck-car crashes than truck drivers. It was also quite a revelation to learn about the many ways our eyes and our minds deceive us while driving, the ways we "look but don’t see," the way we sometimes believe, to slightly change up the warning our mirrors gives us, that objects are further away than they actually are. Then there were the things I had never really thought about, but were surprising nonetheless — that drivers seem to pass closer to cyclists when those cyclists are wearing helmets, how the ways in which drivers honk at each other contain subtle indications of status and demographics, how much traffic on the streets is simply people looking for parking. I was also unpleasantly surprised to learn how far the U.S. had slipped in terms of traffic safety in the world, where it was once the leader.

Q: You write, "The truth is the road itself tells us far more than signs do." So do traffic signs work?
A: We’ve probably all had the somewhat absurd moment of driving in the country, past a big red barn, the pungent smell of cow manure on the breeze, and then seeing a yellow traffic sign with a cow on it. Does anyone need that sign to remind them that cows may be nearby? To quote Hans Monderman, the legendary Dutch traffic engineer who was opposed to excessive signing, "if you treat people like idiots, they’ll act like idiots." Then again, perhaps someone did come blazing along and hit a crossing cow or a tractor, and in response engineers may have been forced to put up a sign. The question is: Would that person have done that regardless of the sign? The bulk of evidence is that people don’t change their behavior in the presence of such signs. Children playing, School zone? People speed through those warnings, faster than they even thought, if you query them later. To take another example, the majority of people killed at railroad crossings in the U.S. are killed at crossings where the gates are down. If this is insufficient warning that they should not cross the tracks then is a sign warning that a train might be coming really going to change behavior? At what point do people need to rely on their own judgment? We as humans seem to act on the message that traffic signs give us in complex ways — studies have shown, for example, that people drive faster around curved roads that are marked with signs telling them the road is curved. We tend to behave more cautiously in the face of uncertainty.

Q: What is "psychological traffic calming"?
A: Traditional "traffic calming" relies on putting big, visually obvious obstructions in the road, like speed bumps, or the wider, flatter speed humps. Unfortunately, since the bulk of drivers, like tantrum-throwing toddlers, really don’t like to be calmed, a lot of these don’t work as well as hoped, or produce negative, unintended consequences, like the fact that people will raise their speed between the bumps to make up for the time lost slowing to traverse the bump. So-called "psychological traffic calming" basically tries to calm traffic without drivers even realizing they’re being calmed. It does so through things like reducing the width of roads, using pavements of different colors or textures, even removing center-line dividers, which studies have shown is one way to get drivers to slow down. Even creating visual interest along the side of the road, a no-no in traditional traffic engineering because it’s a "distraction," can be used to calm traffic — when something’s worth seeing, after all, people slow down. The most radical approach is removing any signage at all, and forcing drivers to rely on their own wits, as well as the dynamics of human interaction, as has been seen in some interesting experiments in the Netherlands.

Q: You cite 20 miles per hour as the speed at which eye contact becomes impossible. How central to understanding traffic, and human communication generally, is this statistic?
A: Eye contact is a fundamental human signal — all kinds of studies have shown, for example, how people are more likely to cooperate with one another when they can make eye contact. When we don’t have it, when we become anonymous, we not only lose some of that impulse towards cooperation, we seem to become susceptible to all kinds of behavior we might not otherwise engage in. In most driving situations, of course, we lose eye contact, and have to make do with our rather limited vocabulary of traffic signals. At much slower speeds, however, like those seen in the experimental roundabouts in the Netherlands were most signage has been stripped away, it is fascinating to see how intricately all the traffic can interweave — exactly because some of those human signals have been restored.

Q: We’ve all had the experience of the annoying passenger who can’t stop critiquing our driving when we know are driving just perfectly. Then again, we’ve all been the back seat driver to people who think they are driving perfectly when we know for sure they are about to kill us. What accounts for the way drivers vs. passengers experience the same ride?
A: First of all, I should stress that passengers, even annoying back-seat drivers, are good for us: Statistics show that people are less likely to crash when they are accompanied in the car (except, interestingly, teen drivers). But there’s several interesting things going on between drivers and passengers. For one, driving as an activity often lacks regular feedback — we’re often not aware in the moment of how close to a crash we almost came, or our own culpability in that. Secondly, drivers tend to self-enhance. They all tend to think they are better than average, or at least average drivers — it’s been called the "Lake Woebegone Effect." Passengers are not caught up in this dynamic — there’s no such thing as a "better than average" passenger — nor do they feel themselves joined to the mechanics of the car, the way a driver does. Brain scans of people doing simulated driving have even revealed different results from people acting as simulated passengers. In the end, a back-seat driver, like it or not, is providing feedback, the same way someone can view footage of their golf swing to learn what they couldn’t see in the moment.

Q: You talk about numerous experiments going on around the world to study traffic, what are some of the ones that you found most interesting?
A: One of the most fascinating things that is happening, thanks to technology like TiVo style cameras and feedback sensors, is that researchers are becoming increasingly able to study how drivers really behave on the road, learning curious details about, for example, how much time drivers spend looking in certain places — forward at the road, in the rear-view mirrors, away from traffic, at the radio, etc. With companies like DriveCam, this information is actually being used to coach drivers — beginners but also experienced drivers — based on the crashes they narrowly avoided. The work of Hans Monderman, who unfortunately died in January, in the Netherlands was also utterly fascinating. Faced with a visually unappealing, traffic clogged intersection in the heart of the Dutch city of Drachten, Monderman turned it into a roundabout, with fountains and plantings but no traffic lights and virtually no signage — the result, more than a year later, is the traffic moves more efficiently through the town, and there have been fewer crashes. It was also quite memorable to be in Los Angeles’ "traffic bunker" on Oscar Night. They set up special traffic patterns so that the stars’ limos can all get to the red carpet at roughly the same time. It was striking to see how one person, sitting alone at a computer screen, can orchestrate the whole city’s flows, its competing patterns of desire.

Q: You have been all over the world studying traffic. So, where was it the worst and how does the city in which we live dictate our highway behavior?
A: It depends on how you define worst! I’ve been in nasty jams from Seoul to San Francisco. The places that felt the most chaotic were cities like Hanoi, which currently has the highest level of motorbikes per capita in the world, and where, in many parts of the city, the only way one can cross the street is by simply wading into the flow. New Delhi was also quite unnerving, not just for the hustle and bustle of so many modes of transportation on the road at once, but the chronic disobedience of traffic rules. In Beijing, where "driver" not that long ago was only the title of a job, driving was hectic but I found it quite difficult as well to be a pedestrian — drivers were always plunging into the crosswalks when I had the "walk" man, I was always having to climb bridges or submerge into tunnels to cross streets, and the city’s "super-blocks" are sort of oppressive — I walk quickly but it took me nearly an hour to walk around the block on which my hotel was located.

I think traffic behavior is dictated by a complicated mix of cultural factors and the traffic engineering measures in place. In Copenhagen, home of the world’s largest anarchist community, people on foot are astonishingly law-abiding in terms of not crossing against the light. In New York, an arguably more individualistic, ego-driven sort of place, you’re viewed as a tourist if you don’t jaywalk. But in London, for example, studies have shown that the number of pedestrians who violate red lights literally changes with each block; it’s not that those people’s culture changed from one block to the next, it was simply that some lights were too punishingly long to wait for.

Q: You seem to feel pretty strongly about what constitutes an "accident" on the road. While drugs and alcohol are called out as criminal, cell phone use, texting and general disregard for traffic laws are not. Do you think we are heading toward stricter laws on this front? Should we?
A: Since the car was invented, drivers have been reluctant to give up what they see as their "rights," even as these supposed rights keep changing. This is why, for example, cars are sold without "speed governors," a device that would greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the illegal — let’s call it what it is — act of speeding, and certainly reduce fatalities and injuries. It took years for people to accept that drinking and then getting behind the wheel was not a good idea, and obviously many still do think it’s acceptable. As the science emerges that cell phone conversations, not simply dialing, can seriously impair a driver’s attention and reaction times, the very reasons we criminalize drunken driving, I’m not sure what the distinction is that should be made if a driver kills a pedestrian while drunk versus while on their cell phone, or for that matter who kills a pedestrian because they were driving 25 miles over the speed limit. Does one get years in jail and the other a slap on the wrist? Don’t they both show an equal disregard for the law? People are leery of imposing stricter laws on negligent driving because it’s always been viewed as a "folk crime," like fudging your taxes, sort of widespread and not as serious as others. People are reluctant to criminalize what they see as "normal" behavior. But how did it become normal behavior? When I got my driver’s license, the cell phone hadn’t been invented, and somehow as a society we managed to get along. The economy didn’t collapse, and, if you believe surveys, people were no less happy then they are now. No one wants to get into an accident, they’re certainly not premeditated, but were people doing everything they reasonably could to avoid an "accidental" crash when it later turns out they were talking on a cell phone while driving? It’s something we’re going to have wrestle with as a society as the science really begins to come in.

Q: What is "a forgiving road"?
A: This is a school of thought that says, drivers are only human, they’re going to make mistakes, so let’s build things so that if they do make a mistake, they won’t be seriously injured or killed. Sounds good in theory, and in some places, it’s good practice. If you’re cruising along the highway at 75 mph and your tire blows out, wouldn’t you want a guardrail to prevent you from crashing into a tree? The problem is: Where do you draw the line? The early traffic engineers thought the forgiving road was such a good idea they argued it should be extended to every road in the country. Even residential streets, they argued, shouldn’t be lined with trees, and instead should have massive "clear zones" for people to skid off into without killing themselves. The problem, apart from the fact that forgiving roads don’t really make for nice residential or city environments, is that the forgiving road principles, can, in effect, give permission to drivers to drive more recklessly, which is not good for other drivers, pedestrians, or cyclists — and often not good for them. Just as the only safe car is the one that never leaves the garage, the only truly safe road is the one that’s never driven. Trying to make roads "too safe" for drivers leads to all sorts of unintended consequences.

Q: You write that "as the inner life of the driver begins to come into focus, it is becoming clear not only that distraction is the single biggest problem on the road, but that we have little concept of just how distracted we are." Can you explain?
A: To give you an idea, I took a test on a driving simulator. I was doing a kind of logic exercise via a hands-free phone while I drove on the highway. I smacked into the back of a truck. When I looked at the software that tracked my eye movements, they were locked onto the back of that truck. Did I realize how distracted I was? Not at all. Think of when you zone out as someone’s talking to you. You’re only made aware of it when they ask if you’re listening to them. Or take the famous "gorilla video" experiment. You’re trying to pay attention to people passing the basketball to each other. In the meantime, a guy in a gorilla suit strolls by. Most people don’t see it. You’re distracted from the gorilla by the act of counting passes, but you’ve no idea. This kind of thing, scarily, happens in driving all the time. There are times we know we’re distracted in some way, like physically dialing a phone, but other times when we’re not aware of the extent of our distraction because we think we’re paying attention.

Q: You write about the cars and technologies of the future and as you put it, "It is probably no accident that whenever one hears of a "smart" technology, it refers to something that has been taken out of human control." Are we headed towards the driverless automobile?
A: We’re definitely already in the era of "driver-assist" automobiles, with blind-spot warnings and adaptive cruise control and the like. As people who study automation have noted, these "semiautomated" processes come with very particular challenges — drivers may relax their vigilance, thinking everything is fine thanks to the car’s technology, but something might happen that actually confounds the car’s systems, and suddenly the driver is "out of the loop." This kind of thing has been seen in airline crashes. That said, were it to be fully achievable, full automated driving would have all kinds of benefits, from smoother traffic flow to a reduction in crashes. But that’s a ways away — the legal issues, for one, are massive — but maybe by 2050, like in the film Minority Report, we’ll all have little autonomous pods connected to a grid…

Q: If you had to choose from the vast array of prescriptions, what would be some of the top things you would recommend to make our roads safer and our traffic less maddening?
A: 1. Pay attention to the task at hand. You are operating heavy machinery, not driving a big phone booth or a make-up mirror. Every glance away from the road, every phone call, every fumbling for your last McNugget, not only disrupts traffic flow, it boosts the risk for a crash, which is itself one of the leading causes of congestion. Even though we often read about how much money we’re losing because of traffic congestion, which people often site as reason to build more roads, it’s been estimated that crashes cost us more in economic terms than congestion itself.
2. Remember the ants. Army ants are among the world’s best commuters, for a single reason: They’re all cooperating. They move in unison, they help each other out, the individual doesn’t consider his own interests above that of the traffic stream. We all want to assert our individuality, or our sense of superiority on the road, but as everyone does that, it makes it worse for everyone else, and the whole system gets worse.
3. Keep in mind you’re not as good a driver as you think you are. On the road, we’re moving faster than our evolutionary history has prepared us. We cope pretty well regardless, but we’re still susceptible to all kinds of flaws and distortions in our sensory and decision-making equipment. Just because your eyes are on the road and your hands upon the wheel doesn’t mean you’re actually prepared to deal with an emergency.
4. We can’t build our way out of traffic, but we can think our way out. Building more roads when they’re already under-funded doesn’t seem workable, and given that most roads are only congested part of the time, it’s not really the most efficient solution anyway, for loads of reasons. As a former Disney engineer told me when I asked why they didn’t just build more rides instead of worrying about new ways to manage the long queues, "you don’t build a church for Easter Sunday." But being able to clear a stalled car quickly because sensors detect the traffic flow has changed, knowing which routes are crowded in that moment, and possibly charging accordingly; or, perhaps, making traffic lights adapt to changing demand — or getting rid of traffic lights altogether — there’s countless innovative solutions out there that are more sophisticated, and more sustainable,than simply laying more asphalt, and that don’t necessarily involve not driving — though that of course is the ultimate traffic solution.

Q: Okay so the big question. We know you have learned a lot about traffic but what have you learned about we humans behind the wheels?
A: In a word, that we’re …human! We make mistakes, we misjudge our abilities, we’re not as aware of what’s happening in traffic as we think we are, we act differently in different situations, we get angry over things that matter little in the long run, we’re susceptible to distortions in our sense of time, we have trouble living beyond the moment, of seeing the big picture — oh, and also, that everyone has a different opinion on who the worst drivers are and where they live…"Los Angeles! L.A. drivers are the worst… No, Atlanta has terrible drivers… No way, Boston drivers are nuts…" Try this with your friends sometime.

From Publishers Weekly
Vanderbilt looks at the psychology of driving and the many false impressions drivers use to operate their vehicles. He also looks at other subjects potentially unconsidered by the average driver, such as traffic control centers and smart technology that improves driving decisions. David Slavin's diverse application of tone and personality make him a great choice for this production. Vanderbilt's writing is accessible, but it changes in tone depending on the context (ranging from life-and-death issues of accidents to reflecting about traffic controllers protesting during the Academy Awards). Slavin balances these shifting thoughts and maintains an overall energetic personality throughout the production. The big challenge of this audiobook is how much drivers who listen to audiobooks will adjust their habits while listening to it. A Knopf hardcover. (Reviews, May 19).
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From Bookmarks Magazine
Tom Vanderbilt has an eye for identifying the extraordinary in the mundane. In the well-received Traffic, the autophile’s equivalent to Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, the author offers fresh insight into the annoying—and, Vanderbilt makes clear, quite dangerous—world of traffic. “Get only a few pages into Traffic,” the Washington Post writes, “and you’ll begin to understand something that probably has never crossed your mind, unless you’re a traffic engineer, a behavioral psychologist or a law-enforcement officer.” An insider’s look at how car culture is shaped by human nature, even if the Los Angeles Times reviewer criticized Vanderbilt’s omission of our collective car fetish, Traffic is an engaging read for every driver—from the 10-and-2 to the habitual gawker.
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC

Most helpful customer reviews

68 of 74 people found the following review helpful.
Changed the way I approach my time behind the wheel
By Kenneth Simon
I live in Los Angeles, and my daily commute subjects me to this city's infamous traffic. So why in the world would I want to read a book about traffic? After all, I live it every day. Well, whether you live in a crowded city or a small town off the interstate, Traffic turns out to be an interesting, worthwhile look at humans and their machines, what happens on the road, and why.

Traffic hooked me right off the bat with its provocative starting point: you're on the freeway in the right hand lane. A sign indicates that the lane is ending and you should merge left. Do you merge at the first safe opportunity and get mad at the drivers who keep zooming past on the right until the last possible merge point? Or are you one of the drivers who waits until that endpoint, where you have to stop and wait for your turn to merge? Tom Vanderbilt used to be an early merger, but then he changed his ways. Once you read the facts behind his decision, maybe you'll change your ways too.

Vanderbilt explores this and other conventional wisdom of the road. He also looks at traffic from an engineering point of view. For instance, how much good do all those speed limit, caution and warning signs actually do? What would happen in a busy, urban environment if we just took those signs away and let people figure things out for themselves? (It's been tried and the results surprised me.) Have we collectively done the right thing by widening our roads, adding bike lanes, crosswalks and protected turn arrows?

By the time I reached the end of this book, I had plenty of food for thought. It's quite possible that all the traffic planning and road engineering in our major cities has been misguided in some major ways, resulting in the disruption of neighborhoods and increased danger to driver and pedestrian alike. How do we make traffic flow more quickly on our crowded roads - or is "faster" the wrong goal in the first place?

Although Traffic may leave the reader with more questions than answers, fascinating studies and tidbits are scattered throughout the book, and Vanderbilt writes in an easygoing, humorous style. If he occasionally dwells too long on a particular point (I found some of his writing about safety a little plodding), he can be forgiven this minor sin in a book otherwise packed with information that speaks to our everyday lives.

One final note: although it was not the author's intent, reading Traffic actually had an impact on the way I drive. I had become an angry driver, and after reading this book, I find myself much more philosophical behind the wheel, and I've cut way back on the pointless aggression. I will try and make that a lasting change.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
A good read for anyone interested in human behavior or sociology
By sunandsurf
Excellent, interesting book on how we drive and why. Anyone interested in human behavior or sociology will likely enjoy this read. It includes historical information as well as numerous studies conducted on driving and different aspects of driving and perception.

152 of 189 people found the following review helpful.
"Why safe roads are more dangerous. Story at 11."
By James Daniel
While the topic of the book is nominally "traffic", the real topic is about human psychology and how it deals with the situations involving traffic. The material is chock full of "things that make you go, 'hmm.'"

In spite of being intriguing, the information the author conveys is rarely useful information. The reader will likely be left unmoved by the author's reasoned advocacy of late merging, for instance. Similarly, the style of writing feels like that of a news or talk show, where the announcer/host will "tease" an interesting bit of info, run a commercial, discuss things about which you don't care, run another commercial, and then, in the last 2 minutes of air time, give you the anticlimactic answer to the story headline you found interesting enough to make you sit and watch.

Unfortunately, most of the book is like this, and the cool things that the author has to say are just that. Cool, but not quite meriting a book. Of the book's 400 pages, nearly 100 are end notes. I am happy that the author's work is well-sourced (books of this genre often lack sources, preferring to rely on anecdotes), but it conveys how the author had to work fairly hard to turn a very large set of disjointed facts into any sort of readable narrative.

In this regard, the author's narrative is interesting and readable. It definitely made me keep reading the whole way through. At the end, however, I felt kind of empty and unenlightened, so I had to sit back and figure out why.

The reason appears to be because it's like a long magazine article: interesting, longer than a newspaper story, full of interesting insights, but in the end, it's light fare. In spite of the author's thorough research, we really don't know much about traffic in a scientific context, and even the scientists are forced to speculate anecdotally about why certain statistical artifacts are true.

Of the author's many nuggets of info, I found a couple to be very interesting. Making roads safer appears to increase the accident rate, for example. There's really nothing backing up this observation other than statistics, so anything we might derive is of questionable value, but ... it appears that when a road feels safer, drivers are encouraged to drive more hazardously - because, well, it's safer to do so. I'll leave it to the reader to speculate what this implies in other areas of life (or to read the book and read the author's speculations). Another nugget is along the same lines: adding more road signs and traffic controls to alert drivers (e.g., to alert drivers of pedestrians and bicycles, giving bicycles their own lane, putting up rails to allow pedestrians to only cross at intersections) isn't nearly as effective as simply letting cars drive on roads in which there are obviously several hazards. A dead deer carcass on the side of the road appears to encourage far more safety than a deer crossing sign. Again, I'll let the reader ponder that rather than waste time with my own unsubstantiated insights.

There are a few places where the author says/advocates things with which I expressly disagree, though I understand his motivations and reasoning for saying them. The primary item of this sort is that he explicitly says, discussing the risk due to terrorism vs. the risk due to driving, "Ironically, the normal business of life that we are so dedicated to preserving is actually more dangerous to the average person than the threats against it."

This seems a simple, straightforward statement: 40,000 lives lost due to traffic each year, but only about 5000 killed by terrorism (total, not per year, since 1960). On the one hand, I agree with this as a sentiment, because we definitely overestimate risk in spectacular cases, while ignoring risk in mundane cases. I don't, however, agree with the statement outside of that specific context: while it's easy to point out the large number of traffic deaths, that ignores the massive public benefit of being able to drive anywhere, anytime. Terrorism, on the other hand, doesn't have any accompanying net benefit.

In summary, I like this book, and it is an interesting book, but it should not be regarded as science so much as an accumulation of well-sourced statistics, interesting anecdotes, and a thoughtful discussion of an activity in which nearly all of us participate every day.

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