— Philip Turner (@philipsturner) March 30, 2013
#FridayReads, March 29–The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science by British journalist Will Storr. I posted this book as a #FridayReads March 8, so it should be clear it is not a quick read. However, it should also be clear that I’ve stayed with it because reading it is a very rewarding experience. Storr’s investigation blends spot reporting from such locales as a revival meeting in Australia led by a creationist preacher with consideration of the placebo theory and homeopathy and its detractors. Like Jon Ronson, another British author with whom I’ve compared Storr, the author of this book is an affable guide who successfully inveigles his way on to a tour bus of Holocaust deniers led by disgraced former historian David Irving and in to a conversation with the churlish defender of Hitler. I’m reading the last 40 pages now where Storr probes the question of whether James Randi deserves the status he’s widely accorded as the ‘world’s most noble skeptic.’ Storr, shall we say, has some doubts. I recommend this thoughtful and nuanced book most highly. I first read about this book in the Guardian last January and I’m glad I was able to get a copy from Picador, Storr’s obliging UK publisher.
Please note: you may visit a ‘buy page’ for this book at the website of Powell’s Books–the affiliate bookseller for The Great Gray Bridge–by clicking on this book link: The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science.