Okay not mine, because I’ve got a bit over-ambitious with the content, but this is a bit of a find: free books by one of the early pioneers of popularising critical appraisal, epidemiologist Petr Skrabanek. Few today will remember his fantastic “Follies and Fallacies in Medicine” (co-authored with GP James McCormick) in which they take on everything from the bad maths of breast cancer screening, through the validity of psychiatric diagnoses, and on to homeopathy and “electroquackupuncture devices”. Their “Fistful of Fallacies” is particularly good.
At the time, this was regarded as a visionary classic, a book that changed the outlook and practise of doctors and more, and ranked alongside Illich’s “Medical Nemesis”, McKeown’s “Role of Medicine”, Shaw’s “Doctor’s Dilemma”, or Moliere’s “Imaginary Invalid”, depending on how old you are.
Skrabanek was a lifelong champion of clear thinking, scepticism, and critical appraisal, and astonishingly – especially since I was about to try and buy a copy – all three of Skrabanek’s books are available for free download from the Skrabanek Foundation.
Do yourself a favour: download Follies and Fallacies, carry it around in your laptop, or print out the first fifty pages. Free stuff doesn’t get any better than this.
(Handy geek tip: in Adobe Acrobat PDF reader, go to the menu “View-> Page Layout -> Facing” and you can read it almost as if it was a book, without killing any trees.)