Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner make statistics apply to your life, and they make you see those things in a whole different light. Somehow, they make stats seem...cool. Narrator Dubner pulls off a little miracle, too. At first, he sounds a bit geeky, but it doesn't take long before you are hanging on to his every word, waiting for the next nugget of information, and thinking that this geeky-sounding guy is really pretty smart. And it doesn't take long before you realize that you've read an entire book on economic theory and statistics - and enjoyed every minute of it. Go figure.
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing, and whose conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives; how people get what they want or need especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they set out to explore the hidden side of...well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Steven Levitt, through devilishly clever and clear-eyed thinking, shows how to see through all the clutter.
©2005 Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Prepare to be dazzled." (Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point)
"It might appear presumptuous of Steven Levitt to see himself as an all-purpose intellectual detective, fit to take on whatever puzzle of human behavior grabs his fancy. But on the evidence of Freakonomics, the presumption is earned." (The New York Times)
This book is exasperating! The underlying suppositions are just (as another reviewer put it) "specious!" One of the author's gem posits is, "Why do black parents give their children names that may hurt their career prospects?"
WHAT?! Why did "Elvis's," "Dweezil's" and "Robert STRANGE McNamara's" parents do the same thing? The whole premise is stupid not to mention racist! What the hell does a person's name have to do with their efficacy in ANY job? Poppycock! Too many similar examples to note them all in 2000 characters.
Bottom line: Garbage In/Garbage Out. Save your book credit.
I have never heard such a crock of unmitgated BS in my life, I wanted tp rate it 0 out of 5, but the computer made me give it a 1. I want by book credit back.
I was reminded of the Peanuts cartoon where Lucy is explaining to Linus that a Palm tree is so named because an average person can wrap his or her hand completely around the trunk. Charlie Brown, listening to the explanation, complaints that he is sick to his stomach.
That carton should be on the cover of this book.
This book is an excuse to spout the authors theory that legalizing abortion reduced the crime-rate in the 90s. The so-called data is twisted to tie in with the authors theories.
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