Do You Believe in Magic? (Hardcover)

The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

By Paul A. Offit

Harper, 9780062222961, 322pp.

Publication Date: June 18, 2013



In Do You Believe in Magic?, medical expert Paul A. Offit, M.D., offers a scathing expose of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly.

Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine--an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks--can actually be harmful to our health.

Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy--alternative or traditional--should be scrutinized. He also shows how some nontraditional methods can do a great deal of good, in some cases exceeding therapies offered by conventional practitioners.

An outspoken advocate for science-based health advocacy who is not afraid to take on media celebrities who promote alternative practices, Dr. Offit advises, "There's no such thing as alternative medicine. There's only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't."

Praise For Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

“Offit is a rare combination of scientist, doctor, communicator and advocate. . . . What is needed is more people like [him] willing to engage the skeptics in a debate that just will not go away.”
-Financial Times, on Deadly Choices

“Few scientists are willing to touch this third rail of science publicity; Offit grabs it with two hands.”
-Newsweek, on Autism's False Prophets

“An invaluable chronicle that relates some of the many ways in which the vulnerabilities of anxious parents have been exploited.”
-Wall Street Journal, on Autism's False Prophets