Dalrymple’s February contribution to City Journal is a review of the new book Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All by Paul A. Offit, on the hysteria that resulted from the study by Andrew Wakefield purporting to link vaccines with autism and other maladies. Dalrymple concludes that “Offit’s book is therefore not only an interesting scientific saga in itself, but a kind of cultural X-ray of our society.”
This statement presents a fact that in my opinion can be observed constantly throughout the Western world:
We are now so safe that all hazard appears anomalous to us, a deviation from nature’s normal course. It must be someone’s fault.
And the following has already been quoted at least once on the Web, and is destined for our page of Dalrymple’s very best quotes:
It is noise that makes the world go round as much as money, with truth coming in a poor third…