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Usually a book review provides an in-depth examination of the material under consideration. This addition to the book review section is different. What I am offering lies somewhere between notices of books and reports I have received and a brief commentary on their contents. Thus, apologies are owed to the authors for judgments that are necessarily superficial. On balance it seemed better, however, to bring these to the attention of our readers and allow them to judge for themselves than have them linger, perhaps indefinitely, on my shelves while awaiting a formal review.
The first is a collection of four paperback books all by Heward Grafftey. Two have a coauthor, Richard McInenley. Grafftey is a lawyer, a former Member of Parliament in Canada, and was Minister of Science and Technology during a previous government. Since leaving office, he has become chairman of an organization called Safety Sense Enterprises, Inc. Grafftey is a vocal advocate for safety, operating, for better or worse, outside of the scientific mainstream. All four books are written primarily for laypersons. The titles are self explanatory: How to Live Safely & Prevent Death & Injury (1996); Safety Sense in the Home (with McInenley) (1990); Safety Sense on the Road (also with McInenley) (1988), and Safety Sense at Play (1991). A quasigovernmental organization, Central Housing and Mortgage, provided assistance in the production of the books.
Each is organized under appropriate subheadings, for example, Safety Sense in the Home, covers the kitchen, living and dining areas, sleeping areas and bathrooms, and in each section, separate sections cover the topic, usually in one page, by reviewing the risk factors and contributing factors, then offering a commentary and a list of safety sense bullets. As a result, the books …