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PHOBIAS by Judy Monroe


by Judy Monroe

Pub Date: March 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-89490-723-9
Publisher: Enslow

Slick, popular science: An Issues in Focus entry, subtitled ``Everything You Wanted to Know, But Were Afraid to Ask,'' has an appealing format and suspicious content. Monroe (Alcohol, 1994, etc.) describes phobic symptoms, gives a brief history of phobias and lists a hundred of them, theories of their cause, treatment, and where to get help. Footnotes and endnotes are provided for some statements, but Monroe makes little effort to evaluate the information or the credentials of her sources. One of them (writing for Parade magazine) is identified in the main text as ``coauthor of a musical.'' ``You may know someone with a phobia, or you may have one yourself,'' Monroe comments, backing up the statement with a quotation from Woman's Day magazine that ``About 23 million [Americans]—one out of ten—say they have a phobia.'' In a discussion of several theories, she mentions that ``90 percent of all phobias are caused by physical problems with the inner ear,'' a speculative statistic that sounds like a bald fact. The tone is compassionate, and there is valuable information buried in these pages, but it's a superficial work, more likely to mislead than enlighten. (b&w photos, notes, bibliography, glossary, index). (Nonfiction. 12-14)