By Guy P. Harrison
Prometheus Books, $18.00, 350 pages
In his book, 50 Popular Beliefs that People Think are True, author Guy P. Harrison attempts to dispel many everyday myths prevalent in our current American culture. He addresses common “untruths” such as the theory that the moon landing was a hoax, or that the Mayans predicted the end of the world simply by the abrupt end to their 5000-year-old calendar.
50 Popular Beliefs is an interesting book because so many of the stories are topical and relevant to today. Harrison tackles organized religion, the existence of UFO’s, the vaccination of children, etc. He also provides recommendations for further reading for those who want to explore the topics in further detail. Where Harrison misses the mark with his book is his voice. While his myth-busting arguments are sound, his delivery often comes across as preachy or condescending to his audience. For example, in a chapter about the existence of heaven, the author concludes: “Now if only we can find a way to direct all that post-death goodwill toward the Earth and the living, we might get somewhere.” If you can look past Harrison’s disdain for “believers,” the book is a good read.
Reviewed by Cheri Woods-Edwin