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MYTHS, LIES, AND DOWNRIGHT STUPIDITY by John Stossel

MYTHS, LIES, AND DOWNRIGHT STUPIDITY

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American Compass

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John Stossel has made his reputation by cutting through the fog of disinformation, old wives' tales, and just plain misunderstanding that surrounds us. In this book, he takes us along with him and his intrepid 20/20 crew as they examine the myths that shape our lives.

Some of these “myths” actually turn out to be true. But many of them are false, and many of the falsehoods are damaging. Some, like “Brand-name foods are better,” may only cost us a few more dollars at the check-out counter. Others, like “K-12 public education is one of the best parts of America,” are condemning millions of American children to a poor start in life. Others still, like “Price controls protect consumers” and “Signing the Kyoto treaty would stop [global] warming,” seriously distort the debate about important policy questions. In case after case, Stossel shows how he and his team got at the truth behind the myth. But there are times, he confesses ruefully, when he too bought the myth—like the story that more crimes are committed when the moon is full.

The most moving section of the book may be “The Perils of Parenting.” Stossel explains that when 20/20 first assigned him to stories on parenting, he had zero interest in the subject. But he turned his reporter's skills to the task, and since he became a husband and father himself,he has been very thankful for what he learned. And we can all be thankful that he has shared the results of his research in this highly readable book.

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